Hitachi Rail has announced that it has signed a €72.5 million contract with Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University to operate and maintain the autonomous metro system in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the next three years.
The Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University is the largest women university in the world able to host 60,000 students that can travel within the huge campus area with the autonomous train. The electric powered trains provide a sustainable low carbon alternative to travelling by car.
The rail network consists of four elevated lines spanning 11.5 km that connects 14 stations. The 22 two-carriage automated metro trains have a capacity of 110 passengers and can travel to a maximum speed of 60 km/h.
The contract will see Hitachi Rail operate the whole autonomous metro system, while maintaining the trains and infrastructure, including stations, mechanical and electrical systems and the depot and viaduct. Hitachi Rail completed the building of the autonomous railway in May 2011.
Hitachi is the largest autonomous manufacturer in the world with 30% market share. The company first autonomous metro started running in Copenhagen in 2002, and was followed by Line 5 in Milan, Brescia, Line C in Rome and successful system in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Taipei, Taiwan. Other projects are in progress in Honolulu – Hawaii, Thessaloniki – Greece, and Australia.
“We are proud to be confirmed as operator and maintainer of the Princess Noura University automated metro. This award is an important further milestone that consolidates our presence in the Middle East, one of the Operation, Service and Maintenance Division target markets. We’re happy to be able to contribute with our customers to the development of mobility in the countries in which we operate, in terms of growth and sustainable systems,” said Edoardo La Ficara, Executive Officer, Operation Service & Maintenance Division, Hitachi Rail.
Hitachi Rail has operated and maintained the Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University since March 2018. Building up on the recent announcement on the maintenance of the new Spanish very high speed fleet, this new award is proof of Hitachi’s continuous and positive collaboration with its customers enabling to operate and maintain the system in Riyadh for the next three years, powering sustainable connectivity.