Train ride to cost 33 and 50 halalas a km
It would cost 33 halalas and 50 halalas a kilometer for second and first class tickets respectively on the high-speed Haramain train, according to a senior project official.
These are preliminary costings for the fares on the multibillion-riyal train, said Bassam Olman, director general of the project, according to a recent report in an online publication.
Olman said the project would connect Makkah, Madinah, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh. A trip between Makkah and Madinah would take two hours, he said.
It is one of the biggest projects in the world and would cost between SR63 billion and SR67 billion. He said 67 percent of the work on Makkah station, and 73 percent of the work on the tracks, have been completed.
Several bridges have already been built. The number of trains can be increased from 35 to 100 to meet demand, he said.
Mohammed Al-Suwaiket, chairman of the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO), said that the Haramain train would carry 102 million passengers every year and support tourism in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah.
At a meeting Tuesday with civil engineers, Al-Suwaiket said that most of the work on the project would be completed by the end of 2016 and would substantially reduce the time between the three main cities.
Al-Suwaiket said the SRO was currently drafting a plan to connect all regions in the country by train. This includes Riyadh and Dammam, and Al-Hafouf and Riyadh, with trains that can travel at 300 km per hour.
Al-Suwaiket announced that the designs for the 1,940-km Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) train line has been completed. Construction on the line between Batha in Riyadh and Al-Khafji in the north would start in 2016.
The United Arab Emirates has started building parts of the line, from Al-Barmi to Sahar. Qatar has plans to connect up through King Hamad bridge. The other GCC countries have not started construction yet, he said. He announced that a training academy for the construction of railways has been set up in coordination with various universities, which would train 1,000 students over five years.