By Courtney Trenwith
Saudi Arabia’s $10bn high-speed rail between Jeddah and Makkah, already two years behind schedule, is due to begin operations by the end of 2015
A planned new high-speed rail network between Makkah and Jeddah will operate seven services between the cities each hour, the Saudi Gazette has reported.
With trains travelling at 300 km/per hour, the Haramain Railway also will run two trains a day between the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and four between Makkah and Rabigh.
A total of 19,600 passengers are predicted to use the network each hour, with an estimated 6.2 billion passengers in its first 12 years.
The 450km project – part of the kingdom’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure development pipeline – is budgeted to cost SR37.5 billion ($10bn) but is running two years behind schedule.
Transport Minister Jabara Al Seraisry recently said 80 percent of the project had been completed and it is expected to begin services by the end of 2015.
Nearly 3100 jobs are expected to be created, of which 75 percent will be reserved for citizens.