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The Haramain high-speed train in Saudi Arabia offered its first free trips as part of a test on Friday, transporting over 200 people from Madinah to Makkah.
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Saudi transport minister and General Transport Authority chairman Nabil Al-Amoudi was among those who travelled on the train’s maiden voyage.
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The trip also included a tour of the new train station, which includes an arrival and departure lounge, a VIP area and a mosque, as well as a civil defence centre, helipad and 1,000-vehicle parking area.
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Earlier this year, Saudi officials said the train will be fully up and running by September.
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According to Saudi officials, the train is designed to travel at speeds of over 300 kilometres per hour, making it the fastest train in the Middle East and North Africa.
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In addition to connecting Madinah and Makkah, the train will also travel through King Abdullah Economic City and will include a shorter branch line to the new King Abdulaziz International Airport in nearby Jeddah.
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By the time the train is fully operational in early 2019, it is expected to carry 60 million passengers a year.