Stadler will supply new trainsets to Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) in a contract worth CHF600m ($687m) that also includes a decade of maintenance support.
The contract includes 10 diesel-electric intercity trainsets, with an option for 10 more, able to carry around 320 passengers each and will be used on the country’s growing rail network.
SAR CEO Dr Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik said: “Today we are experiencing a comprehensive development and a sustainable strategic transformation in the railway sector, as these modern trains represent an effective tool for improving services provided to the residents and visitors of the Kingdom.”
The new trains will serve the country’s East Railway network, increasing overall capacity and the number of daily services on routes covering the capital city of Riyadh as well as Hofuf, Abqaiq, and Dammam.
According to SAR, the purchase is part of a desire to double capacity on the network to meet growing demand for rail travel between Riyadh and Dammam, the country’s two main cities.
SAR’s order marks the first for Stadler in both Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with competitor Alstom proving one of the primary choices for the country so far, providing rolling stock such as trams and the first hydrogen-powered train in the region.
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Peter Spuhler, executive chairman of Stadler Rail, said: “It is an honour to be part of Saudi Arabia´s development towards sustainable and ecological passenger transportation.
“At the same time this is a strategic milestone for Stadler to enter into the railway market in the GCC region, a market that is expected to be outperforming other railway markets in terms of travel experience and passenger growth.”
The trainsets will be around 175m long with two independent diesel-electric power heads to meet the latest stage V European emissions standards.