The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) has paid out SR 5.5 billion in compensation for properties appropriated for the Haramain high-speed railway.
Chairman of the SRO Mohammed K. Al-Suwaiket said recently that a further SR 2.1 billion will be paid for properties that have been identified. This will bring the total compensation to SR 7.6 billion.
The Haramain high-speed railway is one of the biggest projects undertaken by the Saudi government to provide good public transport for pilgrims, residents and citizens.
The 449-kilometer project is also known as the “Western Railway” or "Makkah-Madinah high-speed railway.” It will link the holy cities of Madinah and Makkah via King Abdullah Economic City, Rabigh, Jeddah and King Abdul Aziz International Airport (KAIA). It will also connect with the national network in Jeddah and is expected to begin operations at the end of 2014.
Construction started in March 2009. The railway is expected to carry 3 million passengers annually, including many Haj and Umrah pilgrims, helping to relieve traffic congestion on the roads.
The double-track line will be electrified, with the train traveling at around 360 kilometers an hour. It will complete the 78 kilometers between Jeddah and Makkah in less than 30 minutes.
There will be five stations, at the Knowledge Economic City, King Abdullah Economic City, KAIA, in Jeddah’s city center and Makkah in the south. The Makkah central station will be located near the third ring road. The Jeddah central station will be located on Haramain Road. The railway route will be on the median of the Haramain road. The station in KAIA will be a terminus station. Madinah will have only one passenger station that may be required for the Haj terminal at Jeddah airport.
The design of the stations will be “aesthetically iconic,” taking into account Islamic architectural traditions.
They will have shops, restaurants, mosques, car parks and VIP lounges.