Saudi rail upgrade

A consortium composed of Siemens and the Nour Communications Company of Saudi Arabia has received an order from the Saudi Railways Organization to upgrade the infrastructure of the Saudi Arabian railway network.


A consortium composed of Siemens and the Nour Communications Company of Saudi Arabia has received an order from the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) to upgrade the infrastructure of the Saudi Arabian railway network.


Siemens, whose share of the contract is €59 million, will equip the 1,000 kilometre line between Dammam and Riyadh with signalling and safety equipment, a GSM railway network and a video monitoring (CCTV) system for the railway crossings.


Siemens say the systems have a modular design and can be adapted to the operator’s special requirements and the conditions of the route. Siemens will also be responsible for the maintenance of the signalling equipment.


In future, train drivers, conductors and station masters will also be able to communicate with each other in the whole network of routes via GSM Railway (GSM R), the new mobile system from Siemens Communications.


In contrast to the walkie-talkie system currently in use, GSM R supports conference calls between multiple people and ensures a stable connection, regardless of weather conditions. Siemens is supplying all the components needed for setting up and operating the GSM R network such as switches, base stations or service and administration platforms.

The Saudi Arabian railway network consists of two 500 kilometre long lines which connect the port of Dammam with Riyadh, the capital, in the centre of the country. SRO carries around 850,000 passengers per year and transports cargo amounting to approximately 850 million tonne-kilometres. At the moment, there are plans to expand the railway network by adding a 115 kilometre-long connection, creating a direct railway link right across Saudi Arabia, from the Arabian Gulf to the Red Sea.