High-speed Haramain train makes pilot trip

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Updated 21 November 2017

High-speed Haramain train makes pilot trip

JEDDAH: The mega public transport project in the Makkah region on Tuesday received the first pilot trip of the high-speed Haramain train between Jeddah and Makkah, which departed from the Sulaymaniyah station in Jeddah.
Boarding the train for this first rail journey were Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to King Salman and governor of Makkah region, his deputy, Prince Abdullah bin Bandar, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi and several officials.
Al-Faisal congratulated King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the success of the first train trip between Jeddah and Makkah. He also congratulated the Islamic world, visitors to the holy city and the Saudi people on this occasion.
“Great achievements aren’t unusual in Saudi Arabia given the leadership’s keenness on serving Islam and Muslims, as well as developing this country, which has continued to prosper and advance since the day it was united,” he said.
Al-Faisal pointed out that development of this region has given it high status at a global level, indicating that “our leadership taught us to seek the best and improve all services, especially those targeting Muslims.”
For his part, Minister of Transport Nabil Al-Amoudi said: “Given the project’s magnitude and complexity, it faced several obstacles, but it will be completed in January 2018.”
He also pointed out that there are plans to connect the train to other areas in Makkah and connect the Jeddah Islamic Port to the rail network.
The rail network contains five stations, including the Makkah station, which plays a strategic role due to its location and its representation of this mega project’s completion, said the chairman of the Public Transport Authority, Rumaih bin Mohammed Al-Rumaih.
He added: “This 503,000-square-meter station, which can accommodate 19,500 passengers per hour, is located in Al-Rusaifa at the main entrance of the city of Makkah, less than 4km from the Holy Mosque of Makkah. It also houses a modern transport center that provides buses to and from the Holy Mosque and is ready to connect to the Makkah metro network.”
The Haramain Express Train is one of the largest transportation projects in the Middle East. It is a 450km electric rail track connecting Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City, running at speeds of up to 300kph, and is set to carry 60 million passengers every year.
The official launch of the Haramain train will take place in 2018 and will include the launch of 35 trains, each of which with 417 seats.


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.