Haramain High Speed Rail Project

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Haramain High Speed Rail project
Type High Speed Rail
System Saudi Railway Organization
Status under construction
Termini Medina
Stations 5
Daily ridership 150K a day, 50 MN annually[1]
Opened December 2017
Operator(s) Saudi Railway Organization (with Adif and Renfe)
Rolling stock Talgo 350 SRO
Line length 453.0 kilometres (281.5 mi)
Number of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Operating speed 300 km/h (190 mph)
Route map
Rail transport map of Saudi Arabia.png

The Haramain High Speed Rail project also known as the "Western Railway" or "Makkah-Medina high speed railway", is a 453-kilometre-long (281 mi) high-speed inter-city rail transport system under construction in Saudi Arabia.[2] It will link the Muslim holy cities of Medina and Mecca via King Abdullah Economic City, Rabigh, Jeddah, using 449.2 kilometres (279.1 mi) of main line and a 3.75-kilometre (2.33 mi) branch connection to King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA).[3]) The network will be connected to existing rail transport in Saudi Arabia at Jeddah. The project is delayed and was originally planned to open in 2012. As of November 2016 the whole project is scheduled to be open in March 2018 with partial operations from December 2017.[4]

The rail line is planned to provide a safe and comfortable transport in 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph) electric trains. Construction started in March 2009. The railway is expected to carry three million passengers a year, including many Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, helping to relieve traffic congestion on the roads.[5][6][7]


The double-track line will be electrified and the design speed is 320 kilometres per hour (200 mph).[8] Trains will run in service at 300 kilometres per hour (190 mph),[6][9] and travelling the 78 kilometres (48 mi) between Jeddah and Makkah will take less than half an hour, while the 410 kilometres (250 mi) between Jeddah and Medina will take about 2 hours.[6] The track, rolling stock and stations are designed to handle the temperatures ranging from 0 °C (32 °F) to 50 °C (122 °F).[5]


There will be five stations on the line at:

The Makkah Central Station will be located near the 3rd Ring Road. The Jeddah Central Station will be located on the Haramain Road. The railway alignment route will be on the median of the Haramain road. The Station in KAIA will be a terminus station. Medina will have only one passenger station. A station may be required for the Hajj Terminal at Jeddah Airport.[8]

According to Saudi Railways Organization the stations will be "aesthetically iconic" buildings with designs which take into account Islamic architectural traditions. They will have shops, restaurants, mosques, car parking, a helipad and VIP lounges. Stations were designed by Buro Happold and Foster + Partners.[12]


36 Talgo 350 SRO trains have been ordered, one of these is a VIP Dual (hybrid) for the Saudi royal family for up to 20 or 30 people; they will run at 300 km/h.[13] The propulsion and bogies would be made at Bombardier factories in Spain.[14]


Phase I[edit]

Package 1[edit]

The 6.79 billion riyal (US$1.8 billion) design and construction contract for Phase I Package 1 – Civil Works for the project was awarded in March 2009 to Al Rajhi Alliance,[6] which comprises China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Al Arrab Contracting Company Ltd, Al Suwailem Company and the French power and rolling stock company Alstom Transport. It is cooperating with the consultant Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alami - K&A). Scott Wilson Group will provide project management support.[15]

Package 2[edit]

Phase I Package 2 covers construction of four of the five stations.[12] In April 2009, $38 million worth of design contracts for the stations in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and King Abdul Aziz Airport were awarded to a joint venture between Foster + Partners and Buro Happold.[11][16][17] In February 2011 the station construction contracts were awarded to Joint Venture between Saudi Oger Ltd & El Seif Engineering for (KAEC (Rabigh) & Jeddah Stations), Saudi Bin laden (Makkah Station) and a Turkish Company "Yapi Merkezi" for Madinah Station.[12]

Phase II[edit]

Phase 2 of the project includes the remaining infrastructure not included in Phase-1: track, signalling, telecommunications, power, electrification, etc. It also includes procurement of rolling stock and operations and maintenance for a period of 12 years after completion.[2]

Prequalified consortia for HHR Phase 2 included Saudi Binladin Group, Badr Consortium, China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock, Al-Shoula Group and Al-Rajhi Alliance.[18]

On 26 October 2011,at the Saudi Railways Organization announced that the Saudi-Spanish consortium Al‑Shoula Group, which includes Talgo, Renfe, Adif, Copasa, Imathia, Consultrans, Ineco, Cobra, Indra, Dimetronic, Inabensa, OHL, AL-Shoula and Al-Rosan, had been chosen for the contract.[19][20] Talgo will supply 35 Talgo 350 trains similar to 102/112 series used on Spanish high-speed lines for EUR 1.257 billion, 1.600 with maintenance and an option for 23 more for 800 millions.[21] They differ from the 112 series with 13 cars to 417 seats[2][22] Renfe and Adif will operate the trains and manage the line for 12 years.[2]

The total contract value is EUR 6.736 billion (approximately US$9.4 billion).[2][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Testing set to begin on Saudi High Speed Line. IRJ". 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Spanish consortium wins Haramain High Speed Rail contract". Railway Gazette International. 2011-10-26. 
  3. ^ "Maps and diagrams in Spanish. Colegio ICPP de Madrid" (PDF). 
  4. ^ Railway Gazette: Haramain High Speed Rail deal reached
  5. ^ a b "Haramain High Speed Rail Project, Saudi Arabia". railway-technology.com. Net Resources International, a trading division of SPG Media Limited. 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Al Rajhi wins Makkah – Madinah civils contract". Railway Gazette International. 2009-02-09. 
  7. ^ "Saudi bidding hots up". Railway Gazette International. 2008-03-10. 
  8. ^ a b "Project brief". Saudi Railways Expansion Programme. 
  9. ^ "Proyecto Meca-Medina Asamblea de la PTFE" (PDF). 
  10. ^ "Phase 1 (Package 2) – Stations". Saudi Railways Expansion Programme. Saudi Railways Organization. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "High speed stations for a high speed railway". Railway Gazette International. 2009-04-23. 
  12. ^ a b c "Haramain High Speed Rail station construction contracts signed". Railway Gazette International. 2011-02-16. 
  13. ^ "SRO web Haramain High Speed Rail Project". 
  14. ^ "Bombardier to supply components for Haramain High Speed Rail trains - Railway Gazette". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Haramain High Speed Rail project manager appointed". Railway Gazette International. 2010-01-06. 
  16. ^ "Foster + Partners and Buro Happold joint venture to design four stations for Saudi Arabia's new Haramain High-speed Railway". Foster and Partners. 
  17. ^ "Joint venture to design four stations for Saudi Arabia's new high speed railway". Buro Happold. 
  18. ^ "Phase 2". Saudi Railways Expansion Programme. Saudi Railways Organization. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "ADIF participation in phase 2.". Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Adjudicado al consorcio español el contrato de alta velocidad en Arabia Saudí" (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Talgo se adjudica el contrato de Arabia. Patentes Talgo". 
  22. ^ "Page 188 Mario Oriol from Talgo in UIMP Seminary" (PDF). 
  23. ^ "Un consorcio español logra el AVE La Meca-Medina por 6.736 millones" (in Spanish). Europa Press. 26 October 2011. 

External links[edit]