Makkah metro phase I to be ready for Haj
Makkah, June 6, 2010
The first phase of Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro (Makkah Metro) project that connects Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina, will be ready for this year’s Haj, said a report citing Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) officials.
The work on the project began two years ago in the southern parts of the holy sites where majority of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia as well as Gulf countries are traditionally accommodated, the Arab News reported.
Once completed, this will enable Haj pilgrims to use 35 per cent of train service and help reduce the traffic congestion, specially on the day of Arafat, the report quoted SRO president Abdul Aziz Al-Hoqail as saying.
Each of the five lines will be able to carry 60,000 to 80,000 passengers every hour between Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah and later on the Mina-Makkah sectors, he added.
'This would mean that more than 50,000 cars and buses that carry pilgrims between Arafat, Muzdalifah and Mina would no longer be required,' Al-Hoqail remarked.
Originally planned to be a monorail, the Makkah Metro was later changed to a conventional steel-wheel, steel-rail design running on a viaduct.
The entire train system, including stations, will be elevated and pilgrims will have access to escalators and staircases to reach it, the report added.