The new high-speed Haramain train is on. Here is how to use the train from Makkah to Medinah and vice versa and other general information before you board!
First I have to say I am super excited because train travel is my actual favourite way to explore a country.
There are few options for you to get from Makkah to Medinah for Umrah and we cover all of them extensively here. Now that the train is added this is a much safer and faster way of reaching the Holly cities.
How to Book the Haramain Train from Makkah to Medinah
Note that after several attempts you can only book a few days out rather than for example a month in advance. There were several seats available even two days before the departure date so there should be no problem.
I do hope they will add a bigger calendar option when they start operating in full capacity and speed.
Currently, the train doesn’t operate in full capacity or speed. The achievable speed is about 300km/h but at the moment it is around 200km/h.
The train takes 3 hours from Makkah to Medinah.
The classes and seats are comfortable and it’s new and clean. In my books, these points totally win.
The price of the ticket is not cheap by Saudi standards but by European standards, it is a good value considering the benefits of comfort, speed and safety you have.
- A one-way ticket in economy costs £35 / 160 SAR per person and children pay half price.
- A one-way ticket in business costs £55 / 263 SAR per person and children pay half price.
For a family of 5 this can add up and I can see the benefit of taking a taxi over spending nearly double the price of a train ticket.
Makkah to Madinah train schedule is available below, there are 4 trains per day.
The Medinah to Makkah train schedule is below and there are also 4 trains per day.
Here are the rules of the ticket and how long in advance you have to be at the train station.
Please note that if you go during rush hour depending on the location of your hotel you might need extra time. Also if you don’t have a ticket take this into account as well.
Overall you can go to the train for about one hour or 30 minutes before the train departs.
Baggage on the Train
It looks like you can only have one bag per person plus one hand luggage as with most airlines.
I wouldn’t get too caught up in the dimensions as long as they are OK for planes they should be OK for trains!
However, it also seems according to their T&Cs that even in business it is only 1 baggage per person
- Any passenger provided with a ticket may carry with him, under his custody and responsibility, in the places designated for that purpose, one piece of hand baggage and one piece limited to 25 Kg not exceeding 65 x 55 x 35 cm. (length-height-width).
Where are the stations located in Makkah and Medina?
The Makkah Haramain Highspeed train station is located about 10-minute taxi drive from the Haram.
You can find the Makkah train station details here.
The Medinah Haramain train station is located about 10 minutes from Masjid Al Nabawi as well.
You can find the google map location for the Medinah train here.
I like the fact that they are centrally located stations so it doesn’t cost a lot in a taxi to reach your destination.
Haramain Highspeed train stops
The Train is a service from Makkah to Medinah but it is not a direct link, it makes 1 or 2 stops depending on your train to Jeddah Central train station and to King Abdullah Economic city before arriving in Makkah or Medinah. In total even with the stops, it takes 3 hours to reach the cities which is great.
You don’t have to change trains but keep this in mind if you go to Jeddah and wonder whether you took the wrong train. 🙂
Also please note the journey is 3hrs and it doesn’t stop at a Meeqat if you are travelling for Umrah from Medinah to Mekkah. So make sure you wear your ihram and have your intentions from before or while on the train.
Also please note that there is no link to Jeddah airport so you cannot take the train to go to Makkah.
Your option when arriving for Umrah at Jeddah airport is still taking a taxi to Makkah. Otherwise, you have to take a taxi to Jeddah train station and then the train which will cost more and it’s not as time effective.
The Haramain train stations do look impressive and you can see a lot of work has gone into this service which has the potential to transform how pilgrims travel from Makkah to Medinah.
The Safest Travel option when for Umrah
The Haramain high-speed train is the safest, fasted and most secure way to travel from Makkah to Medinah.
At the moment if you want to visit the Holly cities you can take a taxi which can be dangerous with exhausted drivers on the motorway and there are many traffic accidents. Personally, I don’t like taking taxis as I have seen some crazy driving.
The other option will be the SAPTCO bus which is also cheap but takes about 5 hours to get to Medinah from Makkah. We have an article on this here.
In my opinion, the train from Makkah to Medinah for Umrah is a real contender and it does go with the Saudi vision for 2030 and having 30million pilgrims per year.
It is a great way to go for Umrah and be in comfort, especially with young children.
My best advice and the fastest option I can see for this is if you do an open jaw flight where you arrive in either Medinah or Jeddah and then fly from the other city. This way you only need a one way ticket on the Haramain train from Makkah to Medinah or vise versa.