The mediation of King Juan Carlos I in his travel throughout Arab Emirates some days ago has been fruitful, because the Spanish Consortium, formed by RENFE, Adif and Talgo and most of the more important Spanish building firms, will have an active role in the construction of the so-called Mecca train. This train will transport Muslim believers from Mina’s Valley, in Western Saudi Arabia, to Mecca in the yearly peregrination, called Hajj. Mina is situated near Mecca (10 kilometers), the place, where, according to Islam, prophet Abraham got to fulfill God’s commandment to kill his own son before He sent him a ram.
The macro project of high-speed train linking Medina, Jeddah and Mecca is scheduled for commissioning by 2013. For now, these cities will be joined this year by a kind of light rail, which will be capable of moving only 175,000 people. It is estimated that when the construction of the Spanish Consortium’s train is finished, it will be able to carry up to half a million faithful every six hours. It is expected that this year about 3 million people comply with the so-called “hajj”, one of the five pillars of Islam which every Muslim must perform at least once in their life. With this influx of travelers, the economic success of the project seems almost assured.
(Translated by T&P).