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Chinese light rail delivers over 2 mln trips in Mecca for Hajj pilgrims

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-20 11:02
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RIYADH -- The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) on Wednesday announced that it has completed the 2024 Hajj operation of the Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro Line in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Over the seven days, 2,206 trains have been dispatched, serving about 2.094 million passengers, CRCC said in a statement.

The Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro Line operates for seven days a year, used exclusively as a shuttle train for pilgrims between holy sites in Mecca to reduce congestion during the Hajj.

This marks the 10th year that the CRCC successfully managed the Hajj operation, added the statement.

The Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro Line, starting operations in 2010, marks not only Saudi Arabia's first light rail but the first light rail built by a Chinese company in the Middle East, said CRCC.

"Over a decade ago, this place was a desert. Now, we have left a convenient pilgrimage route for Muslims worldwide," said Zhang Long, project manager of the metro line, adding that the project is a testament to Chinese enterprises' commitment to high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Also on Wednesday, the Saudi Health Ministry announced there were no outbreaks of disease or other threats to public health during the current Hajj season, despite the significant number of pilgrims and the challenges posed by high temperatures.

Minister of Health Fahd bin Abdul Rahman Al-Jalajel specifically acknowledged the Central Hajj Committee's recommendation for pilgrims to avoid performing rituals during peak temperatures, which significantly contributed to safeguarding pilgrims' health and minimizing heat stress injuries.

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