JEDDAH — The Haramain High Speed Train began its commercial operations on Thursday between the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.
The Haramain High Speed Train will transport passengers 450 km (280 miles) via the Red Sea port of Jeddah at speeds of up to 300 km per hour.
Two trains, each carrying 417 passengers, departed from Makkah and Madinah at 8 a.m., according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Two daily services are initially planned in each direction, it said.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Sept. 25 inaugurated the high-speed railway, which is the biggest transportation project in the region.
The new link will slash the travel time from several hours to 120 minutes, transport officials said.
Passengers can contact the special customer service number (92000 4433) for queries about the timing of trips and ticket fares.
There are ticket reservation and purchase facilities at the railway stations in Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and Rabigh.
This will also coincide with the launching of a special app for booking and purchasing of tickets.
In the beginning, there will be scheduled weekly trips from Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and King Abdullah Economic City of Rabigh on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be eight services daily on both sides (four trips each side) in the morning and evening.
There will be a discount of 50 percent in ticket fares for an initial period of two months from Oct. 11.
One-way tourist class train ticket fare from Sulaimaniyah station in Jeddah to Makkah will be SR20 while business class ticket will cost SR25.
The ticket fare for tourist class between Makkah and Madinah is SR75 while the business class will cost SR125.
The tourist class ticket will cost SR63 between Jeddah and Madinah while the business class fare is SR105.
The fare from Rabigh to Madinah will be SR50 for tourist class and SR75 for business class. — SG with input from agencies.