A train linking the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina has been launched on an experimental basis, Al Riyadh newspaper reported.
Saudi King’s Advisor and Mecca Province Governor Prince Khalid Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz was part of the maiden experimental trip.
The transportation milestone, dubbed “Al Haramain Train” will be used to transport pilgrims and other passengers between Mecca and the Medina via Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City.
The 450-kilometre-long dual electric track is considered one of the biggest public transportation projects in the Middle East.
The train network will be officially inaugurated for public use in 2018 after finalising all safety and operational requirements.
Saudi authorities are planning to operate 35 417-seat world standard trains with a maximum speed of 300 kilometres per hour.
The modern train network will have the capacity of carrying 60 million passengers per year.
The massive Mecca station represents a major component of Al Haramain train network, covering more than 503,000 square metres with a capacity to accommodate 19,500 passengers per hour.