SAUDI Arabia Railways (SAR) has awarded CAF a five-year, €200m service contract which covers the Saudi operator’s 18 push-pull trains which operate on the Riyadh - Dammam and Riyadh - Qurayyat lines, built by the manufacturer, including technical support.

There is also an agreement to establish a joint engineering department, to be known as the Engineering Excellence Centre. The department will train SAR staff with the necessary operating and maintenance skills for the train fleet, as well as adapting SAR’s facilities for the overhaul of the trains, which were delivered in 2015.

The facilities will require modification to support bogie and axle maintenance as well as the fitting out of specific areas for the overhaul of engines and pneumatic components.

Strategic agreements will also be created with local universities and technical centres to conduct research work and improve railway competence and expertise in the region.

The contract also includes implementing SAR’s Digital Hub Centre as a benchmark  in the region for train digitalisation. The aim is to develop digital systems and tools for trains in the SAR fleet. This will be based on CAF’s LeadMind digital train platform.

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