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Tue 8 Mar 2016 01:49 PM

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Is this the future of rail travel in the Gulf?

German giant Siemens unveils concept for high-speed intercity train, tailored for the GCC region

Is this the future of rail travel in the Gulf?

German tech giant Siemens has unveiled a concept for a high-speed capacity intercity train, tailored for the Gulf region.

The Hesan Alkhaleej or ‘Horse of the Gulf’ concept has been developed to offer comfortable, reliable and efficient alternative to road and air travel, the company said in a statement.

It incorporates proven technology from the Siemens Mobility portfolio, and integrates special features for the Gulf, it added.

The Hesan Alkhaleej concept is designed to withstand ambient temperatures in excess of 55 degrees Celsius, and incorporates sand-filtering technologies to ensure reliable service in the region’s challenging climate.

Unprecedented levels of redundancy, especially with regard to air conditioning and power supply, ensure that even in the event of multiple failures the train will be able to continue its journey and protect passengers. 

The Hesan Alkhaleej would also be equipped to run on tracks suitable for heavy freight services, enabling mixed-use services to accommodate the varied future requirements of the region’s rail systems.

The unveiling comes as Siemens is showcasing technology at the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai. 

“The Hesan Alkhaleej is a premium intercity train; our vision of a real alternative to road and air travel in the Gulf region,” said Joerg Scheifler, senior executive vice president, Mobility, Siemens Middle East.

“Mobility between cities is a key driver of economic stimulus, and while there are already a number of modern city transit systems in the region, we see the need arising for fast, safe, luxurious and efficient intercity services to link these together. 

“We have been in the rail business for more than 160 years and we draw on this global experience to combine proven technology with local knowledge, in order to develop solutions that are tailor-made for the region.”

Scheifler added: “Rail networks on the Arabian Peninsula are chiefly built around freight operations, but we also recognize the needs of growing populations and an increasingly diverse economic landscape.

“It is key to the efficient use of investment and infrastructure that passenger and freight services can be combined in a mixed-use solution, integrated with what’s already in place and achieve the speed, luxury and convenience levels required to compete with air and road travel.”

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Normal Citizen 4 years ago

Good to know that ACs by Siemens are able to cope with 55°C - the ACs in their German ICE trains usually give up or cease to work at below 35°C.