Foster + Partners and Buro Happold joint venture has been appointed to design four stations along a new high speed railway line in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will link the cities of Makkah and Madinah via Jeddah. The Haramain High-speed Railway (HHR) is a major infrastructure project, conceived to forge new social and economic links by dramatically cutting journey times between the cities in western Saudi Arabia and by providing a new transport option for many of the pilgrims making the journey to the religious cities of Makkah and Madinah.
Passing via Jeddah and the King Abdullah Economic City, the new HHR service will be operated by state-of-the-art, high-speed trains, capable of reaching speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour. By providing an attractive alternative to the use of private vehicles, the scheme will considerably lessen the future impact of these journeys on the environment.
The HHRs fast-track construction programme has led to a modularised approach to the station design with a high degree of prefabrication. While all stations will share a common planning strategy, each will have a distinct identity and building envelope to respond to the respective cities they serve. All will provide extensive facilities and a high quality passenger experience, with generous circulation spaces and segregated arrival and departure zones. The public areas including platforms will be environmentally controlled to enhance comfort and will have filtered natural daylight throughout.
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