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Saudi Arabia to cut number of pilgrims travelling by Mashair trains during Haj

The Saudi Haj ministry has said the number of pilgrims travelling by trains at the holy sites during the upcoming Haj season will be 25% less than the number of pilgrims allowed on the trains last year, Arab News has reported. Mashair Railway trains travelling between Arafat and Jamarat Bridge with a capacity of 500,000 pilgrims were flagged off in 2011 with the aim of reducing the endless traffic bottlenecks at the holy sites during Haj seasons. "The ministry plans to reduce the capacity of trains to 377,000 pilgrims this year as part of its measures to avoid repeating travel delays and other issues that arose last year," said director general of transport at the ministry, Abdul Rahman Endijani. The train service will only be for domestic and Gulf pilgrims this year, he said.