In a ceremony held at a train station in Jeddah, King Salma opened the Haramain high-speed train linking Saudi cities of Makkah and Madinah on Monday. Image Credit: Twitter

Riyadh: King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud will officially inaugurate Haramain high-speed rail line connecting the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah in a ceremony on Tuesday, according to SPA.

The 450 km-long rail line will connect Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh and Madinah, the longest electric speed train network in the Middle East.

The trains, with a speed of 300 kph, will start operating from next month, according chairperson of the Public Transport Authority Rumih Bin Mohammad Al Rumaih

In pictures: Saudi Arabia opens high-speed train linking Islam’s holiest cities

Al Rumaih also confirmed that from the beginning of October until the end of December 2018, there would be regular trains on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting from the stations of Makkah, Madinah, Sulaymaniyah in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.

While Jeddah's King Abdul Aziz International Airport station will begin operating around mid-2019.

The high-speed train will reduce journey time between Makkah and Jeddah to 21 minutes, Jeddah to King Abdul Aziz Airport to 14 minutes, King Abdul Aziz Airport to Rabigh to 36 minutes and Rabigh to Madinah to 61 minutes.

The distance between Makkah and Madinah would be covered in less than two hours, which is less than half the time that it takes to cover the same distance by road.

The Haramain Express train website will allow passengers to book and buy tickets by October 2018, and an app will also be launched. The prices of tickets will vary depending on the class and the destination, and would start at SAR20 (Dh19.5).

For the opening of the rail line, an offer of 50 per cent off in ticket prices for two months starting from October will apply, according to Rumaih.

Image Credit: SPA

The train stations will include several facilities including business class lounges, a public transport centre, parking lots, civil defense stations, mosques, and commercial spaces catering to traveler’s needs.