This is my personal experience when I traveled from Jeddah Airport to Makkah. Given the length of the train ride, passengers can expect to arrive at their destination in under 45 minutes – even less time than if they were taking a taxi!
For just 69 Riyals one can purchase an economy ticket that rides on this amazing new Haramain High-Speed Railway system. On top of all that, there’s no need for cash because payment can be made using debit or credit cards (my personal experience).
Haramain High-Speed Railway
If you’re planning a trip across the Middle East and want to take a train, then this guide will give you everything you need to know about taking an H.R.H.Raine steamship.
Haramain Train Stations
There are five stations as of this time:
- Jeddah KAIA Station
- Jeddah Sulaymaniyah Station
- KAEC Station
- Makkah Station
- Madina Station
Baggage Policy and Entry Requirements for Haramain High-Speed Railway
- You’re allowed to take only 2 pieces of luggage with you. One large suitcase and one small handbag. Your large suitcase should weigh no more than 25 pounds
- Tawakkalna is mandatory in order to enter the station.
- Masks are Checked at the Entrance.
My Personal Travel Experience with Haramain Train
Recently, I took a trip to Mecca and Medina for Umrah. I booked a flight from Jeddah to Madinah before deciding to travel there by train instead of going straight to Mecca. The reason being:
- Cheap EconTicket e.g 69 Riyal from Jeddah to Makkah
- Less time as compared to Taxis
- We offer free shuttle service to pilgrims coming from Makkah and Madina train stations.
- Comfortable Seats
- You don’t need to leave the airport and immediately book a taxi. You can purchase a ticket to take the train instead.
For this reason, I bought my ticket for the train. You can pay via card or Apple Pay if you’re using an iPhone. When you receive your boarding pass, make sure to show it to station employees before entering the platform.
Here are some things that you need to remember.
How to Start your Trip from Jeddah KAIA Station
There are two ways to approach this.
- If you are coming from a domestic flight, all you need to do is pick up your luggage and head towards the airport’s arrival terminal. As soon as you’re there, proceed forward until you spot the Haramain Train Station across from where we stand.
- For those of you who are arriving at the airport via Harmain Train, there is an elevator near the terminal on the second floor which leads to Haramain Train Station. Take a right after exiting and you’ll find it!
Booking the Ticket
There are two ways for you to purchase a ticket.
- Using Haramain Train Application to Book and Pay Online
- Get a ticket from their Ticketing Booth at Jeddah Airport Station
Getting inside the Station
Once you’ve got your ticket, it’s time to enter the main station. There are some rules about what we need to do here:
- You need to Show your Ticket before Entering
- Your Luggage will be checked thoroughly.
- You need to empty your pockets and take off your shoes, as well as remove your cap if you are wearing one.
- You may enter the Station after all of your worries are gone.
- Now it is time to sit and wait for your train to come.
Once you’re at the train platform, simply grab your luggage and board. Your seat number will also be listed on either your ticket or boarding pass. The first five seats for each car are business class and after that there are only economy seats available.
The bus ride from Ghat to Madina only took one hour and fifty-five minutes.
What to Expect at Arrival Destination?
This is the best part of Haraamain Train (or Bus). If you make it to Madina, buses await outside to transport people who want to go see the Haram. Tickets are not available for these buses as of now, but I am expecting that they may offer them in the future so we can have easier access from places other than Madina. These buses drop off people at the Haram and this journey terminates here.
What to Expect when you are onboard?
Cafeteria on the Train
There is a cafeteria located at the fifth bus of every train where one can pay for food and drinks before they board. On average there are beverages such as coffee, tea, cold drinks like water or juice, shawarmas, sandwiches, and snacks available.
Seating and Inner Environment
My experience travelling in Business Class was quite pleasant. I had plenty of leg room, which was great since there weren’t any reclining seats available. One thing that bothered me though were the static seats – they made it difficult to sleep when my back got sore from sitting upright. There was a cup holder and garbage can at every seat along with some spare blankets if you need them!
Space for Luggage
There is plenty of room for you to store all kinds of Baggage and other belongings. You do not need to keep your Luggage by your side. There are overhead compartments for larger items, and there is also ample room at the front of the bus for bags such as yours.
Overall, my experience aboard the train was amazing. Compared to taxis and other public transportation, there is no noise on board or cramped seats which made for an enjoyable trip. In one hour and fifty five minutes we reached Medina where I had been headed all this time.