By Qasim Akinreti
Travel time for Muslim pilgrim from Makkah to Madinah is now two hours only as high-speed train was made available for the first time to pilgrims on Hajj pilgrimage. Before 2019, a road trip between the holy cities of Medina and Mecca can take as long as 10 hours during Hajj.
According to the CNN report, millions of pilgrims rode on Haramain High-Speed Rail (HHR), linking Makkah to Madinah and passing through three stations, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.
The trains travel at 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour) on electrified rails. The technology is designed to handle temperatures up to 50°C (122°F), Saudi Arabia’s maximum temperature, according to the HHR website.
There are 35 trains, each with 13 cars and 417 seats in two classes, business, and economy. The high-speed rail line has a capacity of 60 million passengers a year.
Quoting the rail line website, the railway was launched in October 2018, after the Hajj death from the stampede. In 2018, 2.37 million Muslims made the journey to Mecca.
The pilgrimage, which began on Friday, lasts five days. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim is required to perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able.
Sources: Arab News/CNN/ The Muslim Times