The Spanish CAF Group has been awarded a contract with the state-owned railway operator SAR (Saudi Arabia Railways), covering the maintenance of the train fleet, including technical support and other related services. The contract amounts to close to $ 219.5 million.
The agreement includes maintenance work on the trains CAF has supplied to Saudi Arabia in recent years in conjunction with the Saudi operator for a five-year period. These are the units currently operating on the North-South Line, which connects Riyadh to Qurayyat on the Jordanian border, as well as those operating on the East-West Line, which connects Riyadh to Dammam: a 1,700-kilometer railway network that connects, in addition to the aforementioned cities, other important areas of the country such as Hail, Al-Qassim, and Al-Hofuf.
An agreement was made to establish a joint engineering department known as the ‘Engineering Excellence Centre’
Moreover, an agreement was made to establish a joint engineering department known as the ‘Engineering Excellence Centre’, which will tutor SAR personnel in order to provide them with the necessary operating skills to perform maintenance work on the units, as well as to adapt the Saudi company’s facilities for the overhaul of the units’ main systems as specified in this contract. The latter will necessitate adapting the workshops to accommodate bogie and axle repair, as well as the replacement of rolling gear and the creation of dedicated spaces for overhauling engines and pneumatic components.
Simultaneously, strategic relationships will be formed with local universities and technological centres to conduct research and strengthen regional railway skills and knowledge.
The project will be developed on CAF’s LeadMind digital train platform
Lastly, the contract includes implementing SAR’s ‘Digital Hub Centre,’ which will serve as a benchmark centre for train digitalisation in the Gulf region, to develop digital systems and tools for the trains in the abovementioned fleets, something CAF and SAR have been working on for several years.
The project will be developed on CAF’s LeadMind digital train platform, which allows for the creation of a new generation of connected trains, in addition to more competitive services for train operators and maintainers. This procedure is based on data gathering and analysis via continuous remote unit diagnostics, as well as sophisticated statistical analysis of the collected data flows. This gives a better understanding of assets, allowing for the optimization of operation and maintenance strategies and the improvement of rolling stock performance in terms of train availability, dependability, and lifecycle costs.
CAF will continue to work toward and collaborate in the expansion of the region’s railway capacities under this new contract, with the goal of supporting the country’s strategic transportation plan.