JEDDAH — The Haramain High Speed Train, which is currently undergoing test runs between Madinah and Rabigh, will begin its trial run from the main station in Jeddah mid-year, according to informed sources.
The sources said work in the second stage of the project, which is being implemented by 12 Spanish companies, is going on smoothly and has been 90 percent completed.
They said the companies are currently installing electricity posts, extending underground cables, making train cushions and laying down rails on the suspended bridges which are 24 meters high and have combined lengths of 2,500 meters.
There are two bridges connecting the train’s station at King Abdulaziz International Airport with the railway track coming from Madinah and going to Al-Sulaimania station in Jeddah.
On its way from Jeddah to Makkah, the train will pass through a bridge which is 1,500 meters long and 15 meters high.
A new bridge, which is 70 meters wide, is currently being built. It will be the widest train bridge in the world.
The 447-meter track passes through a number of cities and towns. The train runs between Makkah and Madinah, passing through Jeddah and Rabigh crossing wide suburban areas and farms.
With the end of the first phase of the project, 429 km of rails have been built and handed over to the contractor who began the second stage extending from Madinah to the crossing on the Expressway leading to the Haj terminal in Jeddah.
The train is expected to be fully operational in 2017. When it enters service, the number of buses transporting pilgrims will be remarkably reduced. They will only be used to take pilgrims from railway stations in Makkah and Madinah to their accommodation.
The High Speed Train will be linked to the Makkah metro to provide pilgrims with easy and fast transportation to the Holy Sites.
As many as 12 carriages are being used now in the ongoing test runs between Madinah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.
A number of young Saudi men who were trained in Spain will be operating the train.