International mobility firm SYSTRA has received a design contract from the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) for a new tram system in Saudi Arabia.

Under the contract, Systra will design the first phase of the system. It plans to complete the design studies in 2023.

The company, which will serve as a lead tram design consultant, will conduct preliminary and detailed design studies for the project in the areas of infrastructure, landscape and architecture, stations, workshop/depot and rail track.

Systra will also oversee the integrity of the rolling stock and systems development.

With a maximum speed of 50kmph, the AlUla tram system is being developed by RCU to link all of AlUla County’s key landmarks, archaeological sites, tourist destinations, urban areas and transport infrastructure.

Covering over 50km from Hegra in the north to AlUla International Airport in the south, the tram network will be developed in two phases.

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The project’s first phase will operate from AlUla Central Hijaz railway station to Hegra, offering a low-carbon public transport solution.

With a length of 21km, this phase will include construction of stations at Hegra South, Equestrian Village North and Equestrian Village South, Nabataean Farms, Al Uthayb, the Incense Museum, Jabal Ikmah, and Tal Al Khatib.

Stations will also be constructed at Dadan North, Dadan Village and Dadan, Al Jadidah, Old Town, AlUla Central East, and AlUla Hijaz.

With a further 33km of track operating to the international airport, the second phase of the project will expand to the south of AlUla County.

Systra Saudi Arabia CEO Belal Deiranieh said: “We are humbled to be working alongside the Royal Commission for AlUla to design a tram system which aligns with RCU’s vision and provides passengers with a unique and immersive experience, in the heart of this remarkable cultural and heritage destination, while taking into consideration innovation, environment, and RCU’s low carbon initiative.”