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Fri 7 Oct 2016 12:13 AM

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France's Thales wins deal to maintain 2,400km Saudi railway

French technology firm is awarded a one year renewable maintenance contract for the North South Railway project crossing Saudi Arabia

France's Thales wins deal to maintain 2,400km Saudi railway
(AFP/Getty Images)

French technology firm Thales has been awarded a one year renewable maintenance contract for the 2,400km lines - mineral and passenger - of the North South Railway project crossing Saudi Arabia.

The North-South Railway project in Saudi Arabia is the world's largest railway construction and the longest route to adopt the European signaling system.

It involves construction of a single 2,400km track, sidings, yards, depots, stations and administrative facilities to create a line that has its origin in the capital city Riyadh, in the northwest of the country, to Al Haditha, near the border with Jordan.

Thales said in a statement that the freight line, 1,486km from Al Jalamid (phosphate belt) to Az Zabirah (bauxite belt), has been operational since November 2015 while the 1,418km passenger line from Riyadh to Haditha will be operational by the end of 2016.

The passenger route will accommodate trains travelling at 200 km/h and will stop at industrial stations in Sudair, Al Qassim, Hail, Al-Jawf and Al-Basayta to Al Haditha.

It added that the maintenance contract includes the corrective activities as well as predictive maintenance, enabling rail operators to fix assets before they fail.

Thales said it is one of the leading providers of signaling solutions and equipment maintenance worldwide.

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