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Haramain High Speed Rail Project

Haramain High Speed Rail Project

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Encyclopedia
The Haramain High Speed Rail project also known as the "Western Railway", is a 444 kilometres (275.9 mi) high speed
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 inter-city Rail transport
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 system under construction in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. It will link the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 holy
Sacred
Holiness, or sanctity, is in general the state of being holy or sacred...

 cities of Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 and Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 via King Abdullah Economic City
King Abdullah Economic City
King Abdullah Economic City is a megaproject announced in 2005 by Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia.-Overview:...

, Rabigh
Rabigh
Rabigh is an ancient town on the western coast of Saudi Arabia . It is in Makkah Province. It used to be named "Al-Johfa" until the early years of the 17th century. In some ancient stories the town had been completely destroyed through a sea water...

, Jeddah
Jeddah
Jeddah, Jiddah, Jidda, or Jedda is a city located on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. The...

 and King Abdulaziz International Airport
King Abdulaziz International Airport
King Abdulaziz International Airport is an aviation facility located 19 km to the north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Named after King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the airport is Saudi Arabia's third largest air facility and busiest airport by passenger. The airport occupies an area of 15 square kilometers...

. It will connect with the national network
Rail transport in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Railways Organization provides freight services on two main lines totalling 1018 km. These connect Riyadh with the Persian Gulf port of Dammam...

 at Jeddah.

The rail line is planned to provide a safe and comfortable transport in 320 kilometres per hour (198.8 mph) electric trains
Electric locomotive
An electric locomotive is a locomotive powered by electricity from overhead lines, a third rail or an on-board energy storage device...

. Construction started in March 2009. The railway is expected to carry three million passengers a year, including many Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 and Umrah
Umrah
The Umrah or is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. In Arabic, Umrah means "to visit a populated place"...

 pilgrims, helping to relieve traffic congestion on the roads.

Background


The city of Mecca is the holiest place in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. Each year the city attracts about 2.5 million Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 pilgrims and over two million Umrah
Umrah
The Umrah or is a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year. In Arabic, Umrah means "to visit a populated place"...

 performers during Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 and seasonal holidays. As Mecca has a resident population of 1.7 million, there is also heavy traffic on Fridays plus regular daily commercial traffic.

The city has little public transport available to residents and pilgrims. The only options available are personal vehicles, private taxis or commercial buses. During the Hajj period pilgrims are transported by a large fleet of buses. The Haramain project and the Mecca Metro were designed to satisfy the transportation needs of the large number of Hajj pilgrims, Umrah performers and the people of Mecca and Medina. In the next 25 years the number of pilgrims is expected to increase to more than three million and the number of Umrah performers to more than 11 million. The annual increase is expected to be 1.4% for pilgrims and 3.14% for Umrah performers.

A train service was chosen as the best option to provide fast, safe and comfortable travel for the pilgrims and to relieve the pressure on the roads connecting Mecca and Medina. The project is expected to boost local businesses and tourism.

Design



The double-track line will be electrified and the design speed is 360 kilometres per hour (223.7 mph). Trains will run in service at 320 kilometres per hour (198.8 mph), and travelling the 78 kilometres (48.5 mi) between Jeddah and Mecca will take less than half an hour, while the 410 kilometres (254.8 mi) between Jeddah and Medina will take about 2 hours. The track, rolling stock and stations are designed to handle the temperatures ranging from 0 °C (32 °F) to 50 °C (122 °F).

Stations


There will be five stations on the line at: Medina (Knowledge Economic City
Knowledge Economic City, Medina
Medina Knowledge Economic City was launched by King King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz in June 2006 and is the third of six economic cities announced by Amr Dabbagh, Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority...

) at the north end of the line, King Abdullah Economic City-Rabigh
Rabigh
Rabigh is an ancient town on the western coast of Saudi Arabia . It is in Makkah Province. It used to be named "Al-Johfa" until the early years of the 17th century. In some ancient stories the town had been completely destroyed through a sea water...

, King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah and Mecca in the south. The Mecca 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.

According to Saudi Railways Organisation 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
Buro Happold
Buro Happold is a professional services firm providing engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of buildings, infrastructure and the environment, with its head office in Bath, Somerset...

 and Foster + Partners.

Package 1


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,
which comprises China Railway Construction Corporation
China Railway Construction Corporation
The China Railway Construction Corporation , or simply CRCC, is the second largest state-owned construction enterprise in the People's Republic of China, just after China Railway Engineering Corporation...

 (CRCC), Al Arrab Contracting Company Ltd, Al Suwailem Company and the French power and rolling stock company Alstom Transport
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

. It is cooperating with the consultant Saudi Consolidated Engineering Company (Khatib & Alami - K&A). Scott Wilson Group
Scott Wilson Group
Scott Wilson Group plc, with over 5,500 members of staff, is a global integrated design and engineering consultancy for the built and natural environments...

 will provide project management support.

Package 2


Phase I Package 2 covers construction of four of the five stations. In April 2009, $38m 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
Buro Happold
Buro Happold is a professional services firm providing engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of buildings, infrastructure and the environment, with its head office in Bath, Somerset...

. In February 2011 the station construction contracts were awarded to Saudi Bin Laden Group (Makkah and Madinah) and Saudi Oger (Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City).

Phase II


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
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

 and operations & maintenance
Maintenance, repair, and operations
Maintenance, repair, and operations or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it become out of order or broken...

 for a period of 12 years after completion.

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

On 26 October 2011 Saudi Railways Organisation announced that the Saudi-Spanish consortium Al-Shoula Group which includes Talgo
Talgo
Talgo is a Spanish manufacturer of railway vehicles. It is best known for a design of articulated railway passenger cars in which the wheels are mounted in pairs, but not joined by an axle, and being between rather than underneath the individual coaches...

, Renfe
RENFE
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge" and 1435-mm "European gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF .- History :The name RENFE is derived from that of the former Spanish National...

, Adif
Adif
Adif, an acronym of Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias, is a Spanish state-owned company under the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, charged with the management of most of Spain's railway infrastructure, that is the track, signalling and stations...

 and OHL had been chosen for the contract. Talgo will supply 35 Talgo 350
AVE Class 102
The AVE Class 102 or S-102S-102 denotes 'Serie 102 de RENFE', the 1xx series is used for fixed passenger consists, such as electrical multiple units is a class of AVE high-speed trains for the Spanish state-run railway company RENFE...

 trains similar to those used on Spanish high speed lines, with an option for 23 more. Renfe and Adif will operate the trains and manage the line for 12 years.

The total contract value is EUR 6.736 billion (Approximately US$9.4 billion).

See also

  • Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro
  • North South Railway (Saudi Arabia)
  • Rail transport by country
    Rail transport by country
    This page provides an index of articles on Rail transport by country.Other indexes available include:*List of railway companies by country*List of countries by rail transport network size*Rail usage statistics by country...

  • Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

  • Transport in Saudi Arabia
    Transport in Saudi Arabia
    - Railways :Saudi Arabia has several hundred route kilometres of standard gauge railways linking the capital Riyadh with the Persian Gulf. The new 440 km Haramain High Speed Rail Project will link Makkah and Medina....

  • Hejaz Railway
  • Arab Mashreq International Railway
    Arab Mashreq International Railway
    The Arab Mashreq International Railway is a proposed railway network in the Middle East. The planned network has north-south and east-west axes, and 16 different routes covering 19500 route-km...


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