Riyad, Saudi Arabia (Urban Transport News): In a groundbreaking move, STADLER, the renowned Swiss rolling stock manufacturer, has recently inked a historic deal with Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) on February 5. This marks Stadler's foray into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, solidifying its presence on the global stage.
The contract, valued at a staggering SFr 600 million ($US 687.8 million), encompasses the delivery of 10 cutting-edge Next-Generation Passenger Trains. This comprehensive deal includes not only the trains themselves but also a full maintenance support package, spare parts supply over a decade, and an enticing option for an additional 10 trains, along with their maintenance, over the same period.
The Next-Generation Trains, spanning an impressive 175 meters, are designed to accommodate a substantial passenger load of 320 individuals per train. Each train will feature an independent diesel-electric power car at both ends, boasting engines compliant with EU Stage V emissions standards.
Stadler, renowned for its innovative solutions, emphasizes that the new SAR fleet is meticulously crafted to operate seamlessly in the challenging desert climate of Saudi Arabia. Beyond functionality, these trains aim to redefine the train travel experience in the country, focusing on enhanced passenger comfort, travel enjoyment, and unwavering reliability.
The acquisition of this cutting-edge fleet comes in response to the escalating demand on SAR's East Train services, connecting Riyadh to Hofuf, Abqaiq, and Dammam. The primary objective is to double the train capacity, facilitating the transportation of over 3.8 million passengers annually.
SAR is also gearing up to introduce express services, offering non-stop journeys between Riyadh and Dammam. This strategic move aligns with the growing demand for swift and efficient connectivity between these two principal cities of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Transport and Logistic Services, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, highlights the transformative impact of the new trains on economic movement, fostering rapid connectivity between cities and major regions. Dr Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik, SAR CEO, underscores the current comprehensive development and sustainable strategic transformation in the railway sector.
Stadler Rail's Executive Chairman, Peter Spuhler, views this contract as a strategic milestone, propelling Stadler into the dynamic railway market of the GCC region. Anticipating unparalleled growth in travel experience and passenger numbers, Stadler is poised to leave an indelible mark on this promising market.
As Stadler pioneers its entry into the GCC railway market, the 10 Next-Generation Passenger Trains for SAR signal not just a business transaction but a strategic leap towards elevating Saudi Arabia's railway sector. The emphasis on desert adaptability, passenger experience, and addressing the surging demand positions this collaboration as a transformative force. With this groundbreaking deal, Stadler, in tandem with SAR, is set to redefine the future of rail travel in the region.