Ever since train services were extended to the Holy Mosques of Makkah and Madinah, everyone in the kingdom is super excited. Qsaudi reveals information about the services of Saudi Arabian Railways (previously Saudi Railways Organization or SRO) for those traveling on this new route.
Al Haramain Train in the News
The train has been in the news for quite a while. In 2009-2010 itself the news of a proposed light rail system began making rounds which would mainly serve Hajj pilgrims. Gradually a more comprehensive plan was unveiled which would connect the North South corridor between Makkah and Madinah.
Particularly in the past two years this drram project of SAR took the shape of the Haramain Train project. After months of test runs and security checks, the train is finally going to be up and running following the celebrations of the Saudi National Day.
The train will run on selected routes for now and early next year will be fully functional.
This will come as a welcome relief for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrims as the train would cut down the travel time between Makah and Medina from 6 hours by road to almost just under 2 hours.
Similarly, students, businessmen and workers who need to frequent these routes regularly will also be greatly relieved.
Features and Services On board
The Harmain Express is packed with incredibly advanced equipment. The double track train boasts a mind-boggling speed of up to 360 kilometers per hour based on the tests conducted in late 2017.
At its full operational potential, the train will be able to carry 60 million passengers every year.
The brand new stations of the Harmain rail project will be fully equipped with a VIP area, an arrival and departure lounge, a mosque, as well as a parking space for almost 1,000 cars, a helipad, and a civil defence center.
What stations will be covered and what are the tentative fares
As per local media, the following fares will br implemented:
– Sulaimaniyah (Jeddah) to Makkah:
1. Tourist class SR20
2. Business class SR25.
-Makkah to Madinah
1. Tourist Class SR75
2. Business class SR125.
-Jeddah to Madinah
1. Tourist class SR63
2. Business class SR105.
– Rabigh to Madinah
1. Tourist class SR 50
2. Business class SR75
There will be scheduled weekly trips from Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City of Rabigh Thursday to Sunday during the period from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. There will be eight services daily on both sides (four trips each side) in the morning and evening until the end of this year.
Later on, there will be services daily with an increased frequency from the beginning of 2019. The beginning of services from King Abdulaziz International Airport will be announced after completion of the finishing works of the station at the new airport
The Significance of Haramain Train
It is one of the biggest public transport projects of its kind in the middle east and faced some major delays along the way. Inspite of the hiccups, the main objective of the project which was to connect the Grand Mosque in Makkah to the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah in order to facilitate the umrah and hajj travelers will be successfully achieve
How you can make Most of this service
By making train schedules available online and the ability to easily book tickets through SAR portal, train travel is now a walk in the park.
Watch out for frequent discounts and new services. If you would like to know how to book train tickets refer to our other article.