The North South Railway Project Reaches a Milestone with the Launch of its Passenger Services
On Sunday, February 26, 2017, 10 a.m. local time, the first commercial service passenger train left Riyadh Station for a 2.5-hour journey to Qassim.
This important milestone for SAR (Saudi Railway Company) was also the outcome of more than 13 years of deep involvement for SYSTRA and CANARAIL (now SYSTRA Canada), as leaders of an international multinational company in charge of the feasibility and detailed design of the railway (2004 – 2006), then of the supervision of its implementation (2006 – On-going).
In the last few weeks, experts from CANARAIL and SYSTRA worked together to ensure that the passenger trains would be ready on time. Scott Lister was also mobilized for the ETCS Signalling dynamic tests.
The North South Railway Project is a 2,400-km railway transporting passengers, general freight and bauxite/phosphate across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Mineral trains have been in service since early 2013. The network includes six passenger stations, eight intermodal terminals and three mining terminals. The line crosses a very harsh desert environment that required embankments of up to 80 metres in length.
As part of the joint venture (JV), CANARAIL was more specifically in charge of acquiring the entire rolling stock: locomotives and various types of freight wagons and coaches, as well as the maintenance and handling equipment. The scope of the project covered technical specifications and tender documents, bid evaluation, manufacturing supervision (FAT, SAT) as well as commissioning assistance.
The firm in charge of supervision employed up to 300 staff members to supervise the works awarded to 12 different contractors.
The total cost of the project is SAR 20 B (USD 5.5 B).