Saudi Railways Organization and Spanish firm Indra have selected Kapsch to install GSM-R on the Haramain high-speed rail line between Mecca and Medina.

The line, which is expected to become widely used by pilgrims travelling between the country’s two holiest cities, will link Mecca and Medina, via King Abdullah Airport.

Announcing the contract award, Kapsch said that as well as the technical challenges of adapting the system to the harsh desert climate, the company would have to be mindful of the the route’s ‘religious and cultural significance’.

Michel Clement, vice-president of rail at Kapsch CarrierCom, said: “We were able to win this project in particular because security, safety and expertise were key criteria, we acquired experience with similar environmental conditions in a project in Algeria and we have already equipped multiple railway stretches with similarly advanced solutions supporting ERTMS Level 2 in high-speed environments.”

Several new stations, designed by London-based architects Foster + Partners, will be built along the route.

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