Saudi Arabia now offers one of the world’s fastest trains for travel, with speeds reaching up to 300 km/h.

In the distant past, Muslim pilgrims used to travel to the holy city of Mecca on foot, but now they have the option of traveling on a high-speed train. Around 50 times a day, these sleek, long-nosed trains speed across the hot deserts of Saudi Arabia, reaching speeds of up to 300 kph (186 mph) while carrying pilgrims and other passengers.

These trains, ranked among the world’s top 10 fastest, represent only the initial phase of a rail network that is expected to expand throughout the Middle Eastern kingdom. With billions of dollars invested in infrastructure to boost tourism and diversify revenue beyond oil, Saudi Arabia has created a transfer point at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the country’s second largest city, allowing religious pilgrims and leisure travelers to seamlessly transition from the airport’s arrivals terminal to a modern station where high-speed electric trains race across the nation.

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