Saudi Arabia: Haramain High Speed Railway Breaks Records During Ramadan 2023

Saudi Arabia: Haramain High Speed Railway Breaks Records During Ramadan 2023
© Talgo

The Haramain train, which connects the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, achieved record-breaking figures for both the number of passengers and commercial services operated during Ramadan 2023.

Over 930,000 passengers travelled on 2,875 trains, arriving at their destination with an average punctuality rate of 96.9% during this period, which included the month of Ramadan and the subsequent holidays. The increase in passenger demand also broke historical records for both daily and monthly passenger volumes on the line.

On April 14, the highest number of passengers on a single day since its commercial operation began in October 2018 was recorded. A total of 37,355 people travelled on 115 trains, which achieved a punctuality rate of 100%. The monthly record was broken in March, with 620,259 passengers, 2,296 trains, and an average punctuality rate of 98%.

The Ramadan special plan, implemented between March 23 and April 25, aimed to meet the specific mobility needs of residents and thousands of pilgrims coming to Islam's two holy cities during these dates. Although Ramadan ended on April 20, the special plan was extended until the 25th to include the celebration of Eid al Fitr and the subsequent holidays.

The operational plan offered more than 1 million seats, with schedules exceeding 100 daily services between the cities of Mecca and Medina during peak demand periods.

The Haramain High-Speed Railway (HHR) project started in 2009, with revenue services starting on 1 October 2018. Saudi Arabia Railway Company (SAR) awarded Renfe and Adif with operations management under the contract until 2030. The 35 trains in use on the 450 km corridor are the 13-car Talgo 350 trainsets, reaching the operational speed of 300 km/h.

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