It is reported that Saudi Arabia's first high-speed passenger rail line is aimed to be completed in January 2014 and the line will connect the cities of Mecca and Medina.
According to the daily Arab News report, the transport minister, Cabara El Siraysi, said that the construction of the transportation line that will carry pilgrimage and umrah visitors is ongoing. The official, who also heads the Saudi Railway Organization, noted that the High Speed Railway Project between Mecca and Medina is progressing as planned and on time.
According to the sources, the railway line, which will reach a total length of 480 km, will also pass through the port city of Jeddah and reduce the journey time between the two holy cities to two hours. It is aimed to carry over 3 million passengers per year in the first phase on the line.
The second phase tender of the Haramain project, worth $ 9.4 billion, was awarded to the Saudi-Spanish al-Shula consortium last October. There is currently a 200 km long railway in Saudi Arabia and it is expected to increase to 7 km with the completion of new projects. New projects include the North-South railway and the Gulf Cooperation Council railway line.
According to other researches, 33 thousand km long railway construction is planned in the Middle East and North Africa countries and it is estimated that 250 billion dollars will be spent on these projects.