Thales has secured a maintenance contract for the 2,400km route of the North South Railway (NSR) project across Saudi Arabia.
Said to be the longest route to adopt the European Signalling System (ETCS level 2), the NSR project involves construction of a 2,400km track, sidings, yards, depots, stations and administrative facilities. The project will create a line that starts in the Saudi capital city Riyadh and runs to Al Haditha, near the border with Jordan.
The 1,486km freight line from Al Jalamid to Az Zabirah has been running since November 2015, with the 1,418km passenger line from Riyadh to Haditha set to be operational by the end of this year.
It runs from Riyadh and passes through industrial stations in Sudair, Al Qassim, Hail, and Al-Jawf. The route will accommodate trains travelling at speeds of 200km/h.
Thales’s one-year renewable maintenance contract includes corrective activities and predictive maintenance, and can also be extended.
The rail line from Al Jalamid to Az Zabirah runs eastwards to the processing and manufacturing facilities at the Arabian Gulf in Raz Al Khair. From there, end-products are shipped by sea.
When loaded, freight trains run at speeds of 80km/h, and 100km/h when they are empty.