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Saudi Arabia

Haramain train stations to open by end 2017

The stations can't start operating before the railway does, a project official said.
RIYADH: The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) has revised its plans to open new stations in Jeddah, King Abdullah City and Madinah on commercial basis pending full operation of Haramain Railway project by the end of 2017, local media reported.
It is too early to decide whether the stations will operate commercially before the practical operation of the railway project is revised, as it will require maintenance and cleaning costs, a project official told Aleqtesadiah daily.
“Operating the stations will constitute a financial burden on the project management because the key customer, passengers, has not come yet,” he was quoted as saying.
Renting stores and restaurants at Madinah and Rabigh stations and opening them to the public before the train project is operational violates contracts signed with the Spanish consortium, he said.
He said the Spanish consortium will be fully responsible for operation and maintenance of the project over 12 years starting 2017.
He denied works on the project have slowed down, adding that all the project contracts would be completed by the end of 2017.
The railway project will see 35 passenger cars on two-way trips every half an hour between Makkah and Madinah, he said.
Journeys between cities will take different times, as follows: Makkah-Jeddah 21 minutes, Jeddah-King Abdulaziz Airport 14 minutes, King Abdulaziz Airport-Rabigh 36 minutes, Rabigh-Madinah 61 minutes.

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