Thales signs maintenance contract with Saudi Railways

By Davis Thattil | Nov 29, 2017

Thales has signed a two-year contract with the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to maintain the signaling, telecommunication and electromechanical systems of the 2,400 km Northern Train project. This contract also includes the transfer of knowledge to SAR national teams and complies with the objectives of “Saudi Arabia Vision 2030”.

The Northern Train project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the longest railway in the world equipped with state of the art technology signaling and communications systems, the ETCS Level 2. The project, currently in operation, involved the construction of 2,400 km of track, sidings, yards, depots, stations and administrative facilities of the two lines.  SAR transports passengers from the capital city of 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 on the Arabian Gulf, in addition to Wa’ad Al Shamal project. 

The maintenance activities will be performed by Thales through specialized engineers and technicians located across eight maintenance bases situated along the 2,400 km 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 take over the maintenance activities for the duration of the two-year contract. To achieve these objectives, Thales has contributed to equip the electronic laboratories and has simulated the signaling and telecommunication systems in Saudi Railway Polytechnic laboratories which will be used for the training programs.

Saudi Railway Polytechnic (SRP) was established in Buraydah (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 signaling & telecommunications systems, rolling stock maintenance and train driving.  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 (MMMP, the metro of the holy sites in Makkah) and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

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