Haramain mecca medina high speed train
The 450km journey from Mecca to Medina aboard the train takes nearly two hours. Image Credit: REUTERS

Cairo: The capacity of a high-speed rail service linking the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina has increased by 100,000 seats to reach a total of 1.6 million during this year’s Islamic Hajj pilgrimage season, according to the operator.

Disclosing its operational plan for the annual massive season, the Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) said the Haramain train service has been readied to transport the pilgrims who are flocking to the kingdom for next month’s Hajj.

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The rise in seating capacity entails the introduction of 430 new journeys compared to those of last year’s Hajj season to reach more than 3,800 during the period running from the 1st of the current lunar Islamic month of Dhul Qaidah corresponding to May 9 until the 19th of the following month of Dhul Hijjah corresponding to June 25.

Around 126 daily journeys are scheduled to operate during the peak days of Hajj expected to begin on June 14, depending on sighting the new moon.

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The 450km journey aboard the train takes nearly two hours.

More than 2 million Muslims from across the globe are anticipated to attend the upcoming Hajj amid maximum preparations from the agencies concerned in the kingdom.

Inaugurated in 2018, the Haramain train connects Mecca and Madina via the port city of Jeddah and stops at five stations.

The environmentally friendly service currently composed of a 35-train fleet aims to transport about 60 million passengers annually.