China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has completed construction of the $1.77bn Mashaer Railway project in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Following completion this week, the project has been handed over to the country’s Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, reports Al Bawaba.

The firm had been developing the project for last six years to connect the holy cities of Makkah, Arafat, Muzdalifa and Mina.

Approximately 10,000 people were added to the project in the past 16 months to ensure its quick completion. The initial development stage for the railway project was completed in November 2010.

"Following completion this week, the project has been handed over to the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs."

The Chinese developer was responsible for the design, supply, construction, operation and maintenance for the project under a contract.

Mashaer Railway involved the construction for railway lines stretching more than 18.5km, along with nine railway stations and a parking area.

Five trains, developed as part of the project, will transport 72,000 passengers an hour in each direction.

The project had generated job opportunities for 30,000 of Saudi youths during the construction period and CRCC has said that it also ensured training and skills development for managers under the project.

The firm had trained about 2,000 Saudi students at various universities across the country and helped to remove 12,000 buses from Makkah, thereby reducing the frequency of traffic jams and pollution levels.