Stadler will supply Next Generation Intercity Trains to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and Stadler have signed contracts for the supply and the maintenance of 10+10 Next Generation Passenger Trains.
With these landmark contracts, SAR is taking the next step towards the VISION 2030 development of their railway operation. For Stadler these are the first contracts in one of the fastest growing railway markets, the GCC-region. The total contract volume is approx. 600 Mio CHF. The signature was witnessed by H.E. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistic Services of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the board of SAR as well as the Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, emphasizing the strategic importance of this cooperation for the bilateral relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.
The new trainsets will be designed according to latest European and International Standards while being equipped particularly for the climatic and ambient conditions in Saudi Arabia. They will be approx. 175m long, self propelled with two independent diesel-electric power heads meeting the latest European emission standards stage V and cater for approx. 320 passengers. The new trainsets will elevate train travel in the Kingdom to the next level in terms of passenger comfort, travel experience and reliability. They will be ready to operate on SAR’s growing railway network throughout the country and will connect the growing cities of the Kingdom.
The supply contract consists of a base contract for 10 trainsets with an option of another 10 trainsets. The maintenance contract provides 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 total contract value of both base contracts is equal approx. 600 Mio. CHF.
The contract follows an international tender procedure of SAR in 2022, the selection of Stadler as preferred bidder to SAR in 2023 and an extensive negotiation process. This contract is the first contract for Stadler in the fast growing market of the GCC region. However, with two large other contracts in the MENA region Stadler does have significant design experience for the relevant climatic and ambient conditions.
His Excellency the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR), Engineer Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, explained that the purchase of these modern trains comes in response to the increasing demand for the East Train passenger services, as the new trains will contribute to doubling the annual capacity of the East Trains to reach more than (3.8) million passengers annually and provide direct trips from Riyadh to Dammam (express service) to meet the growing demand for trips between the two main cities in the Kingdom.
His Excellency Al-Jasser added that the introduction of these modern trains into the railway network also comes in alignment with the initiatives of the National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS) to improve the quality of life, enhance the public transport system in the Kingdom, and improve the overall experience, stressing that “the entry of new trains into service in the near future will open new horizons for the economic movement witnessed in the Kingdom, by supporting rapid connectivity between cities and main regions in the Kingdom, noting the great and unlimited support that the transportation and logistics system receives from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and HRH the Crown Prince, to enable the sector to achieve its initiatives in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030.”
For his part, CEO of Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR), Dr. Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik, affirmed the company’s commitment to its pioneering national role by stating: “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.”
He added: “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 says: “Today we are honoured to be awarded with this prestigious contract from one of the fastest growing railway companies in the world. We are very happy to be trusted with the development and delivery of SAR’s next generation passenger trains and will do our utmost to meet the high expectations of SAR and the passengers in the Kingdom. It is an honour to be part of Saudi Arabia’s development towards sustainable and ecological passenger transportation. At the same time this is 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.