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Al-Haramain Train enters final phase

JEDDAH —The final phase of the multibillion riyal Al-Haramain Train Project will be signed soon.
This will see the purchase of 35 trains with 13 carriages, traffic signs and railway tracks, which will be installed by a Saudi-Spanish consortium. This phase will reportedly cost just over SR30 billion. It will include the consortium carrying out operations and maintenance for 12 years.Currently, civil works are being completed in addition to the building of four train stations.
The contractor in charge of the Al-Haramain Train project has also begun demolishing some properties to make way for the new Briman Bridge Project. Traffic is being redirected while demolitions take place.A Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) report has indicated that this is the most difficult part of the project because it involves considerable coordination with relevant authorities for detours on Al-Haramain Highway, renovation of bridges on the highway and the moving of traffic signs, without disrupting traffic flow.

The report added that all teams have been working non-stop to complete all the necessary tasks; and that the Pilgrims’ Lounge has been completed and new construction is taking place on the Air Base Bridge.

Over 153 bridges will be built outside the urban area, 20 of which have been completed. A total of 678 flood drainage canals will be constructed as well, according to the report. It pointed out that the consortium was informed that it should provide adequate number of workers and construction equipment to finish building the train stations.
The report added that government will pay market-related prices for the acquired properties. The valuations are being carried out by a committee with members from seven official agencies.
The 444-km high-speed Al-Haramain Train will have stations in Makkah, Madina, Jeddah, King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and King Abdul Aziz International Airport. It will reduce travel time between Makkah and Jeddah to less than half-an-hour and between Madina and Jeddah to less than two hours.
By Abdul Aziz Ghazawi
Okaz/Saudi Gazette