Spanish high-speed passenger train manufacturer Talgo has received a $200 million contract from the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) to deliver six 350 series high-speed trains.
These new trains will be deployed for Riyadh-Dammam services, covering 480km between the cities.
The new Talgo trains will be capable of running up to 200km/h and the travelling time between the cities is expected to reduce from four hours to three hours.
Talgo president Carlos de Palacio said: “This new contract will strengthen commercial relations with Saudi Arabia and will open the doors for Talgo’s new projects.
“Unquestionably, both our technology and good relations established with the Mecca-Medina project have proven to be critical.”
The new trains will be identical to those Talgo is supplying for the Haramain high-speed line between Mecca and Madinah.
Self-propelled with diesel-electric traction, the new trains will feature a ‘desert package’ that reinforces the train’s sealing systems by blocking out the sand and heat, when it travels under atmospheric temperatures that can exceed 55°C.
In addition, the trains will have improved paint and coatings to counter the effects of abrasion and also offers in-built protection for its windows and other external areas.
In September 2014, SRO selected Spanish transport consultancy firm Consultrans to perform a ten-month feasibility study of the 480km-long high-speed railway line between Dammam and Riyadh.
Under this $1.8 million contract, the consultancy was responsible to assess whether the line would shorten the current travel time between Dammam and Riyadh from four and a half hours to less than three hours.