Haramain Express Train trial successful

Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, center, deputy governor of Makkah region, arrives at Haramain Express Train station in Jeddah. (SPA)
Updated 26 July 2017

Haramain Express Train trial successful

JEDDAH: On behalf of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, deputy governor of Makkah, participated on Tuesday in a pilot trip of the Haramain Express Train.
Also present were Transport Minister Sulaiman Al-Hamdan; Spanish State Secretary for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Julio Gomez; President of the Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) and Chairman of the Public Transport Authority Rumaih Al-Rumaih; and a number of other top officials and media personnel.
The Haramain Express will transport passengers from Makkah to Madinah (and vice-versa), via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City. The railway is around 450 km in length, and will offer a fast-paced, comfortable and secure transportation option for travelers passing through Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City. The train is expected to be fully operational during the first quarter of 2018.
On its pilot trip, the Haramain Express first ran from Jeddah to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) station in Rabigh, which was toured and inspected. The train then continued its journey toward Madinah at a speed of over 300 km per hour.
Prince Saud bin Khaled Al-Faisal, deputy governor of Madinah, received the train upon its arrival at Madinah Station on behalf of Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman, and boarded the train for its return journey to Jeddah.
Al-Hamdan explained that the speed at which this large-scale national project — one of the largest transportation projects in the Middle East — has progressed would not have been possible without the ongoing support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and support of the governors of Makkah and Madinah, and the support of the Public Investment Fund.
“The project represents substantial added value to the transportation system in the Kingdom, and is in line with one of Vision 2030’s objectives — to harness energies and potential to serve the guests of God by increasing the capacity of the systems and services provided to them.”
Such services include transportation, he said, noting that the number of pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques is predicted to increase from 8 million to 30 million people by 2030.
The minister went on to explain that the design of this project was based on the latest global specifications for high-speed railways, and features the highest safety and quality standards. The fully operational Haramain Express is expected to transport more than 60 million passengers annually.
For his part, Al-Rumaih said that the inauguration of the new railway will reduce pressure and limit pollution and congestion on roads between the two holy cities, while also providing a safer and faster transportation option.
The train’s travel time between Jeddah and Makkah will be around 21 minutes. It will take less than two-and-a-half hours to travel between Makkah and Madinah.


Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested COVID-19 vaccine

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.

FASTFACTS

• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.