Developing local expertise is crucial for a strong rail sector for the Middle East in the future.

“Training young local people will create a strong rail industry in the future,” said Philippe Casgrain, vice-president, EMEA systems division, Bombardier Transportation speaking at MEED’s Mena Rail & Metro Summit in Abu Dhabi on 28 October.

The Canadian technology provider set up a project management academy in Saudi Arabia to support its work on rail projects in the kingdom. Graduates attend the academy for one year, then travel overseas to gain practical experience working on live projects.

Training is important because Bombardier expects a lot of rail work in the region in the future. “We see the market, and we have to be prepared to fulfil the requirements of the market,” says Casgrain.

Bombardier already has a sizable business in Saudi Arabia. It is part of the Arriyadh New Mobility consortium that secured the $5.21bn contract to deliver Line 3 of Riyadh Metro in July this year.

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