By Courtney Trenwith
Trains are expected to eventually run at up to 453km/h between Makkah, Jeddah and Madinah
Saudi Arabia will reportedly soon begin testing of the first phase of its new fast rail network between Madinah and Makkah.
The rail project is the largest in the kingdom’s history. Trains will operate up to 453kh/h, travelling between Makkah and Jeddah in only 30 minutes, Saudi Railway Organization chairman Mohammed Al Suwaiket said, according to Saudi Gazette.
The first train had already arrived in the kingdom consisting of two locomotives, 13 carriages accommodating up to 417 passengers and a pantry car, he said.
Testing will first take place between Madinah and the new King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.
“The experimental operations are also meant to check the trains and high-speed railway’s durability in the hot and humid climate and also during sandstorms,” Al Suwaiket said.
Eventually it will particularly serve millions of pilgrims who travel to Islam’s holiest cities, often after arriving in the country via air into Jeddah.