Network Rail wins contract on 2,750km Saudi railway

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A British consortium that includes Network Rail Consulting has signed a contract to provide management and technical support for the 2,750km North South Railway (NSR) in Saudi Arabia.

The contract with Saudi Railway Company (SAR) has a total value to the consortium of £120m over five years. It involves the provision of support on infrastructure, freight and passenger operations on the new line. The other consortium members are Serco and Freightliner Group.

The Saudi Railway Company is a government owned company established in 2006 by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the investment arm of Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance. PIF assigned SAR to develop and operate a 4,500km network of railway services comprising passenger, general freight and heavy haul.

Network Rail Consulting will provide technical assistance, interim management and training for infrastructure management to SAR for the project. The scope of the contract, which runs for five years, includes capacity management, network planning, train planning, passenger station operations, scheduling, dispatching, engineering, asset management, and infrastructure maintenance management.

Serco will be providing technical assistance, interim management and training for passenger services and Freightliner will be providing similar services for freight operations.

Nigel Ash, managing director of Network Rail Consulting, said: “That a joint British bid has won this prestigious contract against strong international competition demonstrates that we have the right blend of knowledge, experience and expertise within our industry. One of our goals when we launched Network Rail Consulting in 2012 was to export British rail expertise around the world and this long term contract with SAR firmly establishes us in the Middle East, where other state-owned European railway consultancy arms have been successful for many years.”