• Saudi Arabia’s newest passenger rail line to launch by year’

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by george matthews
 
Most of the rest of Saudi Arabia seems open to non-Muslims, however, and I'm sure that this Mecca - Medina train will also be.
The last time I was in the east of Saudi Arabia one could travel from Taif to Jeddah - by taxi - only with a permit from the local government. One had to show it to the police before setting out.

There is a special road built for non-Muslim travellers to avoid Makkah. From it one can not see the city - though at night the lights can be seen reflected in the sky. It carries traffic from Jeddah to Taif - a major traffic route. Whether the current regime feels the same way is unknown to me but it is a possible factor in the planning. Nowadays planning of new railways sometimes puts stations well outside the urban areas - I am thinking of the new rail line in Kenya, where the Nairobi station is no longer inside the city - which actually grew up around the original rail station. Perhaps, if the Makkah station will be outside the city, non-Muslims will be allowed to travel but if it is near enough to see the city I doubt if non-muslims will be allowed.
  by johnthefireman
 
george matthews wrote:Nowadays planning of new railways sometimes puts stations well outside the urban areas - I am thinking of the new rail line in Kenya, where the Nairobi station is no longer inside the city - which actually grew up around the original rail station
Very true. The same is true of the new station in Mombasa. But funnily enough the first place that came to my mind was the USA, where many of the original fine old railway stations on prime land in the middle of towns have been closed down and small new stations constructed in cheap industrial areas on the outskirts. In UK a number of new stations with the word "Parkway" in the name have been constructed outside the cities as a "park and ride" option.
  by george matthews
 
johnthefireman wrote:
george matthews wrote:Nowadays planning of new railways sometimes puts stations well outside the urban areas - I am thinking of the new rail line in Kenya, where the Nairobi station is no longer inside the city - which actually grew up around the original rail station
Very true. The same is true of the new station in Mombasa. But funnily enough the first place that came to my mind was the USA, where many of the original fine old railway stations on prime land in the middle of towns have been closed down and small new stations constructed in cheap industrial areas on the outskirts. In UK a number of new stations with the word "Parkway" in the name have been constructed outside the cities as a "park and ride" option.
I was once staying in a hotel at a town in NY state. I can't remember which it was, possibly Rochester. The old station was visible in the centre of town, but it was occupied at the base by a Greyhound station, and above, there was a road where the tracks once were. The actual station is now a taxi ride outside the town. I think there will come a time when these out of town stations will be seen to be a bad mistake - when oil products have to be severely restricted for climate reasons.
  by MACTRAXX
 
GM - Going off topic briefly:
The city you describe I believe is Syracuse...Rochester's Amtrak station is at the same site near Downtown which is always where it was.
Syracuse was moved from East Syracuse (a suburb) to NW of Downtown SYR with a relocated station in recent years...MACTRAXX
  by george matthews
 
Yes, it was Syracuse. It's expensive to build a rail station in an existing city, which is why new stations are seldom built inside cities. But Syracuse previously had a station conveniently in the city and now doesn't.

My experiences of Saudi are not pleasurable to remember. I am glad that they are now getting some railways, but I do wonder whether they will be useful. The train to Makkah will certainly be a useful addition, and should see several trains a day packed in all carriages, a much more convenient way of reaching the city, and taking many vehicles off the main road, and the air pollution.

I have travelled on the previous only rail line from Dammam to the oasis at Hofuf.
  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:Pretty good ridership. Around 2000 per day , if there is 40 trains a week that is 333 per train . Unless there is something wrong with my maths , which is entirely possible.
The numbers of potential passengers on the route Jeddah-Makkah are very large at the times of major demand for pilgrimage. A few walk as sign of religious devotion. Most went by road vehicles, depending on their status - some by bus or smaller vehicle. The railway should syphon off much of the road congestion during the times of peak demand to travel. I suspect that demand for travel will vary a lot between times of mass pilgrimage and the rest of the year. Perhaps they will run fewer trains in slack times, or possibly shorter trains.
  by lpetrich
 
Haramain high-speed ridership exceeds expectations | International Railway Journal
The crown jewel in Saudi Arabia’s recent railway developments, the high-speed line has carried more than 250,000 passengers since opening, performing above expectations. Load factors of 82% have been achieved from the more than 450 trips that have taken place while services are operating at 93% punctuality.

...
“The slab track we are using can become covered in sand and we are working hard to minimise the impact on the railway,” Al Harbi says. “We have been simulating the movement of sand so we can react accordingly. We have managed to overcome certain problems of the desert so far and we are keen to ensure that the 93% punctuality rate is maintained.”
It should go up to 60 trains per week this quarter (the 2nd), 100 in the second half of the year, and 200 in 2020, with an eventual target of 500.

Seems like another high-speed-rail success.