JEDDAH (RAHNUMA): Repairs to Jeddah’s Suleimaniyah Haramain railway station are well underway after a large fire rendered it inoperable in 2019.
Saudi Transport Minister Saleh Al-Jasser said in an interview with Al-Ekhbairya TV that a settlement had been reached with the contracting company which will bear the cost of the repairs, and will work on completing them before the 2021 Hajj season.
During the talk, the minister said that 34 percent of the repair work has been completed, and that the workflow was being expedited.
“I express my highest thanks to our leadership for its generous approval to repair the Haramain express train station, for the contractor to bear all costs and … to finish repairs before the next Hajj season,” Al-Jasser tweeted.
He continued: “I was also pleased to see the progress of the implementation of the work. We will continue to follow up to ensure the highest safety standards.
“There’s great synergy between the team working on repairs and the contractor. Undoubtedly, work is a lot more challenging due to the pandemic, but the diligent work and strategic planning, as well as the cooperation between the project managers, the consultant and contractor resulted in excellent workflow,” Al-Jasser added.
Train services are expected to resume before the upcoming Ramadan period, unlike the soft launch of the line in 2019.
The trains will be able to perform up to 54 trips per day on the double-track route, taking in 834 passengers per journey, said the minister.
On Sept. 29, 2019, a large fire engulfed the station, injuring 11 people.
Twenty-six firefighting teams took 12 hours to put out the flames, that caused massive damage to the new multibillion dollar high-speed rail project. The train services were immediately suspended.
The Haramain high-speed train was the first of its kind in the region, spanning over 450km connecting five stations across Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah.