About two million Moslems have begun massing on and around Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia, at the peak of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Many arrived by bus or train, while others set off on foot from a tent village about 10km away.
The pilgrims gather to spend the day in prayers and reflection.
More than 1.8 million people have travelled to Saudi Arabia from other countries to take part in the Hajj, which ends this weekend with Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice.
Mecca governor Prince Khaled al-Faisal said the number is an increase of 1.5% compared with last year's figures.
The railway is operating for the first time this year at its full capacity of 72,000 people per hour to ease congestion and prevent stampedes. It connects the three holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Mount Arafat.