Saudi Arabia will launch next year seven high-speed trains to connect the kingdom’s holy sites that are visited by millions of pilgrims from around the world every year.
Seven high-speed trains will operate between Makkah and Jeddah every hour while two trains per hour will operate between Makkah and Madinah, said the director-general of the project, Bassam Ghalman.
The project, which began in 2009, is near completion after finalisation of work at the Jeddah and Madinah stations, local media reported.
The 480km project will link the kingdom’s holy sites to other cities to facilitate travel for pilgrims and visitors and is expected to have a lifespan of over 120 years.
The project is 90 per cent complete and the first phase of the Madinah to Jeddah portion is expected to be ready by the last quarter of 2016. The portion from Jeddah to Makkah is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.