Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and Stadler Rail have agreed a deal for the supply and maintenance of 10+10 Next Generation Passenger Trains, marking a significant step towards the Kingdom's Vision 2030 development goals.
Designed to meet the latest European and international standards, the units will have a capacity for 320 passengers and will be specifically engineered and adapted to cope with Saudi Arabia’s tough climate. It is hoped that the new trains will expand the capacity between two of the biggest cities in the country, Riyadh and Dammam.
The deal, which is worth 600 million Swiss francs will see Stadler supply 10 trainsets with an option of another 10 trainsets. As well as the supply of the units, Stadler will provide full maintenance support and spare parts for a period of 10 years with an option to be extended to additional 10 trainsets for 10 years.
"The purchase of these modern trains is a response to the increasing demand for East Train services," said His Excellency Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and Chairman of SAR. "These trains will double the annual capacity of the East Trains to over 3.8 million passengers and provide direct express service between Riyadh and Dammam."
Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans for rail over the next decade as it looks to fulfil its VISION 2030 vision for rail in the Kingdom. The country is aiming to connect the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf ports as well as reach a 8,000 kilometre rail system throughout the country including raising the annual capacity for passengers to over 3 million alongside carrying 50 million tonnes of freight.
Dr. Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik, CEO of SAR, emphasised the company's commitment to its pioneering role in the sector: “The new trains will serve the entire operational scope of the East Railway network by increasing seat capacity, the number of daily trips, and the annual capacity of the network, as these trains will cover the stations of Riyadh, Hofuf, Abqaiq and Dammam.”
Peter Spuhler, Executive Chairman of Stadler Rail, said: "We are committed to meeting the high expectations of SAR and the passengers," he said. "This project marks a strategic milestone for Stadler's entry into the GCC region, a market poised for significant growth."
Photo Credit: Stadler/SAR