The Saudi Railways Organisation has conducted its first trial run of the Haramain Express Train from Jeddah to Madinah.
The journey on Tuesday saw officials including Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz, deputy emir of Makkah region, Spanish state secretary for infrastructure, transport and housing Julio Gomez and minister of transport Sulaiman Al-Hamdan make the journey alongside media representatives.
The trial run started at Al-Sulaimaniah station in Jeddah at 1:00pm and saw the train transport more than 400 passengers towards King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in Rabigh, according to local reports.
The train then left for Madinah at 3:00pm after a one-hour-15-minute stopover and reached its destination at 4:15pm. During this time the train reached its top speed of between 300 and 330kmph.
Mariano De La Vega, project manager of train manufacturer Talgo, said the company was fully prepared for the official opening.
“Everything is in working order. The train will officially come into operation as soon as Saudi officials give us the green light,” he was quoted as saying.
So far 10 Saudi drivers have been trained in Spain to use the train system and the kingdom has received 11 of the 35 trains it is expecting.
The line is 450km in length, with a full journey between Makkah and Madinah expected to take roughly two-and-a-half hours. Travel between Jeddah and Makkah will take around 20 minutes and between Jeddah and Madinah roughly two hours.
The line is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of next year.
Images taken from Saudi Press Agency