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SAR and Stadler Sign Historic Deal to Supply 10+10 Passenger Trains in Saudi Arabia

SAR and Stadler Sign Historic Deal to Supply 10+10 Passenger Trains in Saudi Arabia
photo: Stadler / Public domain/Stadler Next Generation Trains
07 / 02 / 2024

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and Stadler have signed contracts to supply and maintain 10+10 Next Generation Passenger Trains to operate the growing railway network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With these landmark contracts, SAR is taking the next step towards the VISION 2030 development of its 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 the 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 catering 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 ten trainsets with an option of another ten trainsets. The maintenance contract provides full maintenance support and spare parts for ten years with an option to be extended to an additional ten trainsets for ten years. The total contract value of both base contracts is equal to approx. 600 Mio. CHF.  

The contract follows an international tender procedure of SAR in 2022, the selection of Stadler as the 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 shortly 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, the 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 honored to be awarded 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 honor 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.”


Source: Stadler Press Release