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Saudi Arabia Railways issues call to suppliers of locomotives and wagons

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) has initiated a request for expressions of interest for two major contracts. The first contract involves the supply of 25 mainline locomotives, with options for additional locomotives. The locomotives will primarily be used to transport tank wagons, with a target of being able to haul up to 140 tank wagons using four locomotives operating in multiple.

This move aligns with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, which aims to promote rail growth in the country. The increased demand for freight transportation necessitates additional rolling stock, prompting SAR to expand its locomotive fleet to support both local and regional needs.

SAR places great emphasis on enhancing local content and manufacturing. Therefore, proposals from suppliers that include plans to assemble, repair, and overhaul locomotives in Saudi Arabia will receive preference. This requirement holds significant weight in the assessment process. Suppliers will also be expected to incorporate a long-term maintenance contract for the locomotive fleet in their tenders. The specific terms and duration of the maintenance agreement will be determined during the contract stage.

The locomotive contract is projected to be awarded to the preferred supplier in the fourth quarter of this year, and the results of the tendering process may be announced as early as June. The initial batch of locomotives is anticipated to be delivered in the first quarter of 2026.

The second contract pertains to the design, manufacture, and supply of up to 900 tank wagons. These wagons will be utilized for transporting molten sulphur and merchant grade acid. SAR intends to meet the growing demand for freight transportation by expanding its wagon fleet to 10,000 vehicles by 2030, in accordance with Vision 2030.

Similar to the locomotive tender, bidders for the tank wagons will be required to submit proposals for building and assembling the wagons within Saudi Arabia. They must also include a long-term maintenance agreement, which will be finalized during the contract stage.

The results of the tendering process for the tank wagons will be announced during the summer, and the delivery of the new fleet is expected to commence in early 2026.

Source: International Railway Journal