Saudi Arabia will soon take delivery of train cars for its high-speed rail project linking three major western cities, its transport minister has said.
Jibara Al Suraisri said contractors have started the construction of the rails within the second phase of the Haramain rail project, denying reports about a delay in one of the largest train projects in the Gulf Kingdom.
“The project is under construction and is progressing according to the timetable…it will be completed according to that schedule,” he told Okaz Arabic language daily.
“The second phase of the project has been launched by the contractor and the train cars will be delivered soon,” he said after inspecting the project.
The 450-km (280 mile) Haramain train, which could run as fast as 300 kph, will link the Western Red Sea port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second largest city, with nearby Makkah, Medina and other towns in western Saudi Arabia.
“It is the first project of its kind as it will link major cities in the Kingdom….it will pass through residential areas, valleys and farming and industrial areas….the project poses a big challenge to all those involved in it…but it is progressing smoothly and the results so far are good,” said Suraisri, who heads the Saudi Railways Organization.
The Haramain rail link, expected to cost nearly SR46 billion (Dh45 billion), is part of a mega rail plan involving cargo and passengers trains and metros through the largest Arab economy and world’s dominant oil exporter.
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