March 17, 2015

SRO orders Talgo trains for Riyadh – Dammam

Written by  Fernando Puente
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SAUDI Railways Organisation (SRO) has awarded Talgo a contract worth around €200m to supply and maintain six 13-car diesel trains for Riyadh – Dammam services.

The sets will be capable of operating at up to 200 km/h using diesel traction, and they are expected to help SRO to achieve its objective of reducing journey times on the route by more than 25%, from the current 4h 20min to less than three hours.

In the longer-term SRO is planning to build a high-speed line to link the two cities and a Spanish consortium was appointed last year to carry out feasibility studies for the project.

According to Talgo sources, the trains will resemble the Talgo 350 sets currently being shipped from Spain for the Haramain high-speed railway between Mecca, Jeddah and Medina. The final specification for the six additional units has yet to be defined.

Talgo has currently two diesel products in its portfolio: Talgo XXI and Talgo 250 Dual. The Talgo XXI a pure diesel train developed in the early 2000s and currently holds the world speed record for a non-electric unit – 256.38 km/h.

Talgo 250 Dual is a development of the variable-gauge electric Talgo 250 high-speed train, which has operated as Renfe class 730 on the Madrid – Galicia corridor since June 2012. The class 730s are equipped with two diesel-electric generator cars, which are used to feed the 3kV dc/25kV ac power cars on non-electrification lines.

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