A year and a half later than planned, the AVE to Mecca begins this Thursday to offer trips with passengers. The line, which represents the largest contract achieved by Spanish companies abroad, launches a pre-operational service that includes trips at 200 kilometers per hour for four days at the week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) and stops at two stations (Yeda and Kaec).
In principle, it will not be until January when these journeys are made daily. And in September of next year the route will reach its full performance, which means reaching 300 kilometers per hour and stopping at the five stations on the route.
In this first phase of pre-operation, the travel time will be two hours for direct journeys between Mecca and Medina and two hours and twenty minutes in the case of trips with stops, according to the Public Transport Authority of Arabia. The tickets will cost 17 euros per trip in economy class and 28.6 euros in "business".
In principle, this commercial opening was going to take place last year, but the delays accumulated in certain stations, whose construction was commissioned to a Chinese-Saudi consortium, forced to delay the start-up of the line.
As happened during the inauguration of the AVE to Mecca, produced a couple of weeks ago, no member of the Spanish Government will move to Saudi Arabia during the beginning of the commercial phase of the route. Yes, Isaías Táboas, president of Renfe, and Jorge Segrelles, president of the Spanish consortium in charge of the project, will be present. There will also be several managers of the companies present in the plan.
He AVE Mecca-Medina it became an emblem of the 'Spain brand' after a consortium formed by twelve national companies was awarded the project in 2011 for an amount exceeding 6,700 million euros. Specifically, the group consists of the public Renfe, Adif and Ineco, and the private OHL, Cobra (ACS), Indra, Consultrans, Copasa, Dimetronic, Imathia, Inabensa and Talgo.