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Freightliner Group secures major Middle East contract

Freightliner Group, as part of a British consortium, today announces that the consortium has been selected as contract signature by the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) to be its partner, providing management and technical support for infrastructure, freight and passenger operations on one of its rail projects, the North South Railway (NSR).

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 railway services comprising passenger, general freight and heavy haul.

The North South Railway which at over 2,750km is one of the largest rail projects currently being developed worldwide. The overall rail network that SAR is responsible to construct and operate is more than 4,500 km. Freightliner will provide technical assistance, interim management and training to the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) for this flagship project.

The scope of the contract, which runs for an initial five years, includes the development of World Class rail freight operations, and the transfer of skills and knowledge to support the long term development of the railway industry in Saudi Arabia. The consortium comprises Network Rail Consulting who will be providing technical assistance, interim management and training for infrastructure management, and Serco who will be providing technical assistance, interim management and training for passenger services.

Dr Rumaih al Rumaih, CEO of the Saudi Railway Company (SAR), said that SAR will soon complete the construction of the North South Railway to transport minerals, cargo and passengers.

He said: “In order to manage this new network, SAR went out to tender and invited a number of companies, based on their international experience in rail operations and infrastructure management, in order to support SAR. SAR’s vision is to implement world-class railway practises and deliver the highest standard of technical, commercial and operational service excellence to all SAR customers, as well as to ensure the transfer of technical and operating knowledge and skills, including training, to provide long-term employment opportunities for Saudis, to operate the rail network and develop the railway industry in Saudi Arabia.”

"After an extensive exercise supported by international business consultants AT Kearney, a UK Consortium consisting of Serco Group plc, Network Rail Consulting and Freightliner Group successfully won the tender process against strong international competition, and we look forward to working with them to achieve SAR’s strategic plans in a 5 year commercial partnership."

Dom McKenna, Freightliner’s Group International Director said: “Freightliner’s proven track record of developing and operating safe and high quality rail freight services together with local partners is perfectly aligned with SAR’s strategic vision. This prestigious contract is part of a joint UK bid against strong international competition, and we are delighted to have been chosen to partner SAR to develop a World Class railway.”

Freightliner Group is a leading global rail freight provider with businesses in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and Australia. The Group’s strategy is to develop high quality rail freight services in markets with significant growth potential, in partnership with local management teams. Entry into the Middle East is the next step in the successful execution of this strategy.

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