Saudi Gazette report
MAKKAH — Test runs have proved that there is no need to change the present track of Haramain high speed railway that links the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah.
“Not any of these tests have showed the need to change the track of Haramain rail,” a senior official of the Saudi Railway Organization was quoted as saying by Makkah newspaper.
He said the tests have not affected the schedule for operation of the railway. “These are essential technical measures followed globally. A number of technical and safety tests are required before launching the railway’s regular service,” he explained.
He said the main Haramain stations in Jeddah, Makkah and Rabigh would be opened shortly for school students to visit to promote a culture of using public transport.
“The culture of railway and public transport is something new to our society. There is a need to educate them about public transport system in order to prepare them to deal with it positively and preserve its huge facilities including stations and trains,” he explained.
The visits by public and private school students would help them understand how to use the railway system and how to enter and exit from the train.
Managements of railway stations are now in the process of allocating places for shops and restaurants to investors and businessmen before the final launch of the railway, which is set to revolutionize transport of pilgrims and other passengers between the three cities.
“There is no change in the schedule of the project as works are in progress simultaneously in its Makkah, Jeddah, Dhahban, Rabigh, Wadi Al-Fara and Madinah sectors,” he said.
Asked about renting places inside the railway stations, the official said it would be decided by the project’s operator. “All stations are now ready and are provided with necessary services, infrastructure facilities and parking areas for passengers,” he said, adding that tenders would be invited before allocating places for shopping centers, restaurants and other businesses.