French technology firm Thales has announced it has signed a two year contract with the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to maintain the signalling, telecommunication and electromechanical systems of the 2,400km Northern Train railway.
The Northern Train project in Saudi Arabia is the longest railway in the world equipped with ETCS Level 2 signalling and communications systems, the company said in a statement.
The railway transports passengers from the capital city of Riyadh to Qurrayat in northern Saudi Arabia, in addition to the heavy transport of minerals from the mines of the raw phosphates and bauxite in the northern and central regions to the processing and export sites on the Arabian Gulf, in addition to Wa’ad Al Shamal project.
The maintenance activities will be performed by Thales through specialised engineers and technicians located across eight maintenance bases situated along the railway line.
Thales said the contract also includes the transfer of knowledge, which will be performed through a curriculum of training at its factories in the kingdom. This will allow SAR maintenance teams to take over the maintenance activities by the end of the two-year contract.
Jean-Yves Tolot, country director for Thales in Saudi Arabia said: "This project further illustrates Thales commitment to ensure the SAR maintenance are able to continue in their efforts long after our contract expires and contribute towards the kingdom’s success.
"This contract win further solidifies our footprint in the kingdom. Along with our partners we have established a solid industrial network to provide maintenance and services to our customers in the kingdom," he added.
In Saudi Arabia, Thales also provides maintenance services to the Makkah Metro and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
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