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Makkah-Madinah pre-operation begins

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15 October 2018
The Haramain High Speed Railway has now begun commercial services on the line that connects the cities of Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia. The initial days of pre-operation in which more than 6,900 tickets have been sold, reaching a train occupancy rate of close to 100% on several scheduled services. At the end of September, Saudi dignitaries presided over the first official journey of the railway, which represents the largest contract in Spanish engineering history and, without a doubt, one of Ineco’s greatest achievements. This first trip between Jeddah and Medina heralded the beginning of the line’s commercial operation with initial transitional frequencies and speeds that are expected to increase from next January and reach a maximum of 12 services daily. The Makkah-Madinah high-speed train project included the design and construction of 450 kilometres of track and systems, the supply of 35 trains (plus one VIP train) and the management, operation and maintenance of the line and stations for 12 years. The consortium that carried out the work is made up of 12 Spanish (Adif, Renfe, Talgo, OHL, Ineco, Indra, Cobra, Copasa, Imathia, Abengoa Inabensa, Siemens Spain and Consultrans) and two Saudi companies (Al Rosan and Al Shoula). The project is considered to be one of the greatest technological challenges in the history of the railways. Being able to adapt the line’s systems and components to the extreme weather and geographical features of one of the most hostile environments on the planet has been a determining factor in consolidating Spanish engineering as an international benchmark.