High-speed trains help the progress of Hajj pilgrims

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The £6 billion project is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to modernise and open up Saudi Arabia’s economySTEPHEN KALIN/REUTERS

For centuries they have arrived on foot, by donkey, and latterly in cars and buses. Now pilgrims to Islam’s holiest sites will be able to get there by high-speed train.

A new rail link in Saudi Arabia takes about two hours to run between Mecca and Medina, the homes of the Haramain, or two holy mosques.

Twenty million religious tourists visit Saudi Arabia each year, two million of them during the Hajj, the main pilgrimage. Officials in the kingdom hope that the train will carry 60 million passengers per year, easing traffic on the road between the two cities.

Thirty-five trains will cover the 280-mile route at a top speed of 186mph, with the first departing tomorrow. “The project highlights the kingdom’s commitment to serving…


Source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/high-speed-railway-aids-progress-of-hajj-pilgrims-c3v27j2v3