One of the major challenges for the operators of the Mecca metro will following pilgrims’ movements.

Trains will run for 24 hours a day to cater to passenger demand.

Another challenge will be crowd management as the hajj is the largest crowd event in the world, Sara Cheung, managing director of Vision Skill Consulting, which deals with organisation design, training and development told the MEED MENA Rail 2011 conference on 20 September.

The first phase of Mecca metro opened in November 2010 at 35 per cent capacity. The rest of the project will be in operation by the time of hajj in November 2011.

Pilgrim movements will be monitored closely. At each site of the pilgrimage, there are footbridges in place to reduce congestion that has posed serious problems in recent years.