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Wed 4 Apr 2007 12:14 PM

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Monorails planned for Makkah, Madinah

Public transport system will dramatically improve the movement of pilgrims during the Haj.

Mass transportation rail projects are being planned for the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah in order to ease the flow of pilgrims during the Haj.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Transport Ministry and the Higher Commission for the Development of Makkah and Madinah have all voiced support for the SR7 billion ($1.91 billion) project, according to a report in today's Arab News.

The cities will use a monorail system capable of transporting 20,000 passengers per hour.

Government approval is still required for construction to proceed, after which full engineering studies will be completed. The current plan is for a elevated lines to carry the monorail trains, which will have up to eight carriages each.

The system is expected to open in four years.

Dr. Muhammad Naji Kurdi, adviser to the consortium proposing the monorail told Arab News that the plan would bring about a dramatic improvement to the transportation of pilgrims at the Haj.

Saudi Arabia is planning massive improvements to its public transportation systems. Passenger railway projects are planned that will complete a link from the Red Sea to the Arabian Gulf. An industrial rail network has just been announced that will link plants in the Northern, Central and Eastern Provinces.

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