Picture courtesy: Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
The ticket prices for Saudi Arabia’s high speed Haramain Express train – expected to begin operations this month – have been revealed.
The prices for the rail line vary depending on the class and the destination, and start at SAR20, and the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The ticket rate for the journey between the two passenger stations in Jeddah and Makkah has been priced at SAR40 in the regular class and SAR50 in business class.
The trip between Makkah and Madinah costs SAR150 in regular class and SAR250 in business class.
As an initial offer, the rail line will offer 50 per cent off prices for two months starting from October, confirmed chairman of the Public Transport Authority Rumih bin Mohammed Al Rumaih.
Al Rumaih also confirmed that from the beginning of October until the end of December 2018, there will be regular trains on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting from the stations of Makkah Al Mukarramah, Madinah, Sulaymaniyah in Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.
The launch of trains from the King Abdulaziz International Airport will begin after the station and airport are completed, the SPA said.
The trains will operate a total of eight trips per day in both directions (four trips in each direction).
The number of trips will increase throughout the week from the beginning of 2019 according to new schedules that will be announced, the report added.
The Al Haramain Express train website will allow passengers to book and buy tickets in October 2018 and an app will also be launched for booking tickets.
Officials also confirmed that the train stations have started to lease space for commercial activities.
All stations will include several facilities including business class lounges, a public transport centre, parking lots, civil defense stations, mosques, and commercial spaces catering to traveller needs.
The 450km Haramain line, linking the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City of Rabigh, was originally due to open in 2012 but has been hit by delays and cost increases.
Trial runs of the project were completed in November last year, and free tickets were also handed out to citizens earlier this year ahead of the official launch.
The Haramain rail project will be operated by 35 passenger cars with a capacity of 417 passengers on two-way trips between Makkah and Madinah.
The line has five stations — two terminus stations in Makkah and Madinah, and two central stations in Jeddah and Rabigh, and a fifth station at King Abdulaziz International Airport built by the General Authority of Civil Aviation.
The train will travel at speeds of 300kmh and reduce journey times between Makkah and Jeddah to 21 minutes, Jeddah to King Abdulaziz Airport to 14 minutes, King Abdulaziz Airport to Rabigh to 36 minutes and Rabigh to Madinah to 61 minutes.
Travel between Makkah and Madinah will take less than two and a half hours.
Later stages could see the line linked to Jeddah Islamic Port and Makkah’s metro.
The train line is eventually intended to handle 60 million passengers per year when it reaches fully capacity from the first quarter of 2019.