CTW400 – North-South Railway Project

The North-South Railway project is a massive undertaking that involves the construction of a single 2,400km track, sidings, yards, depots, stations and administrative facilities. The estimated cost of the project is about $3.5bn. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance is managing the Public Investment Fund. The project was started in 2005 and is expected to be completed by 2011-12.

iCorpPro’s Management offered the Commercial Management services to BE who has successfully furnished hundreds of Turnouts & Sleepers in collaboration with ThyssenKrupp GmbH & RailOne GmbH, and several other esteemed partners.

Consultancies Louis Verger, Systra, Canarail, and Saudi Consolidated Engineering were hired in 2004 to oversee the project’s implementation and supervision. They completed the detailed engineering designs in 2005.

In April 2009, SAR initiated three new contracts to advance the railway’s development. SAR awarded Thales, a French group, and the Saudi Binladin Group a $453 million contract to construct European-style signalling, ticketing, communications, and security systems. For the design and manufacture of 4,300HP locomotives, SAR chose the US firm ElectroMotive Diesel Inc. with a contract valued at $90 million. Moreover, SAR entrusted China’s CSR group with a $91.3 million contract to manufacture the proposed 668 wagons.

The SAR, a commercial corporation, established itself to maintain and operate the North-South Railway line through a contract-based operator model. In April 2009, SAR initiated three new contracts to advance the railway’s development. Moreover, SAR entrusted China’s CSR group with a $91.3 million contract to design and manufacture the proposed 668 wagons.

The construction plan for the North-South Railway line includes establishing 107 bridges and 2,679 culverts across a 2,400km stretch designated for freight and passenger services. Furthermore, the project encompasses building a 280km rail line in the Al Nafude desert, connecting Hail to Al Jawf. Engineers will construct the bridges using pre-stressed concrete spans, each measuring 20m long. Additionally, the entire line will feature a CWR track form to ensure ease of maintenance. Lastly, constructing RCC culverts will employ in-situ bored piles for their foundation.

The North-South Railway project will accommodate axle loads up to 32.4t with 1,800 concrete sleepers laid every kilometre. Each concrete sleeper weighs 60kg/m. The 2,400km rail route will have a centralised traffic control (CTC) signalling system.

The railway administration will facilitate passenger train travel, accommodating trains capable of reaching speeds up to 250km/h. However, they will restrict the speed to 160km/h for safety and operational efficiency. Also, freight trains operating on this route will travel 80km/h when loaded and increase their speed to 100km/h when unloaded.

The North-South Railway line will deploy 25 diesel locomotives with 4,300hp engines. Each locomotive will be 3km long, with 160 wagons, and each wagon will carry 100 tons of minerals. Of the 668 wagons, 524 will be used to transport phosphate.

Authorities have invited tenders for the construction of six rail stations and mosques in Al-Haditha, Al-Jawf, Hail, Al-Qassim, Al-Majma’h, and Al-Riyadh, as well as for SAR’s headquarters in Al-Riyadh. These tenders are for passenger line construction. The pre-qualification of tenders will begin on 30 June 2010. The successful completion of this project will revolutionise how we travel, making the world a better place for future generations.