Haramain Train project’s life span to be 120 years

ALMOST THERE: The project is near completion after finalization of work at the Jeddah and Madinah stations. (SPA)
Updated 21 August 2016
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Haramain Train project’s life span to be 120 years

JEDDAH: The expected lifespan of the Haramain Train project is 120 years, says the director general of the project, Bassam Ghalman.

The project, which began in 2009, is near completion after finalization of work at the Jeddah and Madinah stations. Work on the Makkah station was stalled for seven months after licenses were withdrawn from the Binladen Group after the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque.
Ghalman shared insight and details about the project during his meeting with 30 engineers as part of the Saudi Association of Engineers’ Al-Omran Forum.
He said the Jeddah station is 97 percent complete, and trial runs are ongoing.
He said seven trains per hour will operate between Makkah and Jeddah, while two trains per hour will operate between Makkah and Madinah. On average, 36 trains carrying around 15,000 passengers will operate each day between Makkah and Madinah.
Passenger stations were established in the three cities, all linked to the public transport system as bus stations have also been set up at these stations. Twenty young Saudis received training under the project outside the Kingdom to run these trains, as the project commits to its plan to nationalize positions.
Ghalman said the project faced many challenges since creation of engineering plans for construction and building. Some have called the plans “too expansive” he said, but asserted that the plans have addressed and mitigated risks associated with flooding. Many local and international officials have visited the project sites and have praised its expansive scope, he said, condemning rumors and inaccurate claims on social media and other media outlets that have criticized project officials and minimized efforts.
The 480-km-long train project will link the holy sites to other surrounding cities, thus facilitating travel for pilgrims and Umrah visitors.
This is especially beneficial as local studies predict the number of pilgrims to increase to 6 million pilgrims over the next 25 years.
The Makkah governorate previously announced that 90 percent of the project was completed, and the first phase of the Madinah to Jeddah portion was expected to be completed by the end of this year. The portion from Jeddah to Makkah is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.


Saudi heritage chief launches Korean exhibition in Riyadh

Updated 19 December 2018
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Saudi heritage chief launches Korean exhibition in Riyadh

RIYADH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, officially opened an exhibition in Riyadh showcasing Korean history and culture. He was joined at the event by Professor Bae Kidong, the director general of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, and Korean Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Jo Byung-Wook.
Titled “Korean History and Culture: an Enchanting Journey to the Korean Civilization,” the exhibition — which will be at the National Museum until March 7, 2019 and is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia — features rare artifacts that showcase Korean archaeology, civilization and folklore, as well as a selection of exhibits from the Korean National Museum.
Prince Sultan said that such cooperation in the field of culture and archaeology is very important, especially since Korea has a great and ancient culture, and given its important relationship with Saudi Arabia through the years.
On behalf of the Korean government and people, Prof. Bae expressed his sincere appreciation to the Kingdom for hosting the exhibition.