• Serco-led consortium awarded technical support contract
  • North-South Railway due for completion in 2020
  • Railway will form part of wider GCC train network

A consortium led by the UK’s Serco Group has been awarded a contract by Saudi Railway Company for management and technical support for operations on the North-South Railway.

The $185m deal will involve the consortium providing technical support for all passenger and freight operations.

Other members of the consortium include the UK’s Freightliner Group, which will take lead responsibility for providing freight expertise and support, and the UK’s Network Rail Consulting, which will provide infrastructure technical support.

The $4bn North-South Railway will start in the northwestern region of the kingdom and will terminate in Riyadh, with a further link to Ras al-Khair, Jubail and Dammam in the kingdom’s Eastern Province.

The North-South Railway, at more than 2,750 kilometres in length, is one of the largest rail projects currently being developed in the region.

Due for completion by 2020, it will provide a mixed railway line consisting of a heavy-haul freight network, as well as long-distance passenger services.

Much of the railway’s infrastructure is already completed, with most of the rolling stock procured.

The rolling stock is made up of trains supplied by the US’ Caterpillar, wagons by China’s CSR and American Rail Car, and passenger trains supplied by France’s CAF.

 Some freight services are already in operation, with passenger services due to start in 2017.

The North-South Railway will connect with the wider GCC rail network that is being developed in neighbouring countries.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices