UPDATE: US rail firm to invest in Saudi Arabia

24 October 2018
The mineral line of Saudi Arabia's North-South Railway began operating in 2017

US-based Greenbrier Companies has agreed to co-invest with Saudi Railway Company (SAR) in a $267m joint venture to execute railway projects and supply railway cars to Saudi Arabia.

Bashar al-Malik, CEO of Saudi Railway Company (SAR), and James Cowan, Greenbrier president, signed the agreement on 23 October, the first day of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh.

SAR is the client for Saudi Arabia’s 2,750-kilometre North-South Railway, planned to link the capital Riyadh with the northern region of the kingdom.

In 2015, it appointed Greenbrier to supply 1,200 railroad tank cars for the railway line. The cars were expected to be delivered between 2016 and 2018.

North-South Railway's freight line started transporting molten sulphur from the Eastern Province city of Waset to Waad al-Shamal in the north in May 2017.

The following month, it started transporting commercial phosphoric acid from Waad al-Shamal to Saudi Arabian Mining Company’s (Maaden’s) refinery in Ras al-Khair on the Gulf coast.

The passenger line, extending 1,418km, began operating on its initial route, between Riyadh and Al-Qassim, in May last year.

SAR is also the client for the 1,360km planned Saudi Landbridge project, which is now understood to be implemented by China Civil Engineering & Construction Company (CCECC).

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