Simulation exercise under way for Mecca pilgrim metro

31 August 2015

Contractor undertakes 24-hour exercise for metro that transports millions during hajj

  • Malaysia’s Prasarana won three-year operations and maintenance contract in May
  • Metro has capacity to transport 72,000 passengers an hour and requires 5,000 staff

Prasarana Malaysia Berhad has commenced a 24-hour simulation exercise to assess the service on the Al-Mashaaer al-Mugaddassah metro (Mecca Metro) section that links Saudi Arabia’s holy sites.

The simulation exercise, which began on 30 August and is understood to include an emergency response test, will take place daily until 17 September.

Another simulation test involving thousands of passengers will commence on 20 September for six days, according to a local media report, citing Haji Muhammad Burhanordin Ismail, operations director at Al-Mashaaer al-Mugaddassah.

The 18-kilometre metro line, which forms part of the comprehensive Mecca Metro project, connects Saudi Arabia’s holy sites of Mecca, Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, and has a capacity to transport 72,000 passengers an hour. It operates only seven days a year during the hajj season, and requires 5,000 staff.

Prasarana won the three-year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract for the metro service in May 2015. The Kuala Lumpur-based company is the second private company to run the metro.

Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) operated the rail between 2010 and 2013 as part of a $1.77bn engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance contract it signed with the Saudi Municipality & Rural Affairs Ministry.

MEED previously reported that CRCC incurred an estimated net loss of $607m during the three years it operated the service before transferring the project to its parent company.

Prasarana last year won a $2m, 30-month consultancy contract for phase one of the $16.5bn Mecca Public Transport Programme.

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