Thales signs maintenance contract with Saudi Railways Company for Middle East’s largest railway project

Thales KSA NSRThe Northern Train project in Saudi Arabia is the longest railway in the world equipped with state of the art technology signalling and communications systems, the ETCS Level 2. (Image source: Thales)Thales has signed a two-year contract with the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to maintain the signalling, telecommunication and electromechanical systems of the 2,400km Northern Train project

This contract also includes the transfer of knowledge to SAR national human capital teams, which complies with the objectives of Saudi Arabia Vision 2030.

The Northern Train project in Saudi Arabia is the longest railway in the world equipped with state of the art technology signalling and communications systems, the ETCS Level 2.

The project, currently in operation, involved the construction of track, sidings, yards, depots, stations and administrative facilities of the two lines. SAR transports passengers from Riyadh to Qurrayat (northern Saudi Arabia), in addition to the heavy transport of minerals from the mines of the raw phosphates and bauxite in the northern and central regions to the processing and export sites in the GCC, in addition to Wa’ad Al Shamal project. The maintenance activities will be performed by Thales through specialised engineers and technicians located across eight maintenance bases situated along the 2,400km of railway line.

The contract includes the transfer of knowledge, which will be performed through a curriculum of training at Thales’ factories in the kingdom. This will allow SAR maintenance teams to gradually and efficiently take over the maintenance activities by the end of the two-year contract.

However, and for the sake of achieving these objectives, Thales has contributed in equipping the electronic laboratories, and has simulated the signalling and telecommunication systems in Saudi Railway Polytechnic laboratories, which will be used for the training programmers.

Saudi Railway Polytechnic (SRP) was established in Buraidah city (Qassim Province) through a partnership between SAR and The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), to provide the Saudi teams with the vocational and technical qualifications in signalling & telecommunications systems, rolling stock maintenance and train driving.

Jean-Yves Tolot, country director for Thales in Saudi Arabia said, “Throughout its historic presence in the kingdom, the group has developed very strong cooperation with local industries and universities to speed up the transfer of knowledge, know-how and capabilities. In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 (NTP 2020), this project further illustrates Thales commitment to ensure the SAR maintenance are able to continue their efforts long after our contract expires and contribute towards the kingdom’s success.

This contract win further solidifies our footprint in the kingdom. Along with our partners, we have established a solid industrial network to provide maintenance and services to our customers in the kingdom.”

In addition to the partnership with SAR for the deployment and maintenance of its railway network, Thales provides maintenance services across all solutions and systems in use by significant transport infrastructure providers. In the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Thales provides maintenance services to the Al Mashaer Al Mugaddassah Makkah Metro and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

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