Thursday, September 15, 2011

Makkah Metro Train

The Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro Line project in Makkah (Mecca) saw a 18.1km line constructed to connect the holy cities of Makkah (Mecca), Arafat, Muzdalifa and Mina. The line provides transport for about 3.5 million people who arrive at Makkah (Mecca) annually to perform Hajj. The number is expected to increase to five million in future. Construction of the monorail project has helped to solve the problem of heavy traffic congestion in the holy cities during the Hajj period and meet the transportation needs of the local people . Master plans drawn up by Mono Metro show that five monorails need to be constructed to handle the flow of pilgrims to the holy cities.

Makkah Metro Train

"The Makkah monorail project has been one of many undertaken by Saudi Arabia to expand its railway network."Based on the need to transport pilgrims from Mina to Arafat a four-line parallel loop network was developed. The line can transport about 500,000 pilgrims in six to eight hours. It has also allowed authorities to reduce the number of buses needed to transport pilgrims from 70,000 to 25,000.

Makkah Metro Train

The first phase of the project includes the four-line loop with a network of pick-up and drop-off stations between Mina and Arafat. The first of the five new metro lines started operating with Automatic Train Protection at 35% capacity by November 2010. By mid-2011, the line will run without a driver but with an attendant on board. The metro will reach full capacity to carry 72,000 passengers in each direction per hour by 2011's Hajj. About 8,000 skilled and unskilled workers, along with 5,000 engineers, were engaged in the project.

Makkah Metro Train Project

The line services Mina, Arafat and Muzdafila, each of which have three substations each. The four-line parallel loop network splits into single tracks covering all the encampment zones in Mina. Mina is the last station on the metro line and is located towards the west of the Jamarat Bridge. The metro line will be linked to all the four floors of the bridge with elevators.

The four-line parallel route moves south towards Arafat before reaching a main station next to the Arafat Mosque and splitting again into a single-line network to carry pilgrims into Arafat. The lines come together again and move towards Muzdelefa, where pilgrims can spend ceremonial time before returning to Mina.

The line runs on a viaduct with the depot located at the end of the trail that is behind the first station in Arafat. A turnaround loop is planned between the last station and the depot.

Makkah Metro Train

The future
Studies are being carried out to ascertain the extension of the monorail to a station close to the Grand Mosque in Makkah (Mecca) and linking it with Jeddah airport and the Haramain Railway that connects the two holy cities of Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah. Similar projects are planned for the city of Madinah in the future.

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