RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has achieved a new milestone in sustainable transportation as its national railway company has entered into an agreement with its French partner to commence testing for its ambitious hydrogen train project.
In September 2022, Saudi Arabia Railways inked a memorandum of understanding with the French rail transportation giant Alstom to develop hydrogen train solutions tailored for the Kingdom.
As per the Saudi Press Agency, both entities will embark on operational experiments and studies to assess the trains’ compatibility with the environment, setting the stage for their future deployment.
Saudi Arabia Railways has underscored that these trains represent a pioneering initiative in the Middle East and North Africa, highlighting the Kingdom’s commitment to adopting sustainable transportation technologies.
Minister of Transport and Logistics Services Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser told the SPA that this step is an outcome of the National Strategy for Transport and Logistics Services. He emphasized SAR’s continuous transformation into a more sustainable transportation system driven by the latest technologies.
Al-Jasser further said that the Saudi railway company is committed to achieving the Saudi Green Initiative, as envisioned in Saudi Vision 2030. This initiative encompasses reducing carbon emissions, increasing reliance on clean energy, and protecting the environment.
According to SAR CEO, Bashar bin Khaled Al-Malik, the hydrogen train stands as one of the most pivotal innovations in modern sustainable transport.
The ability to generate the energy required for train operation without emitting carbon holds a set of advantages, making it an attractive option for sustainable energy. Moreover, its environmental, economic, and generational benefits make it a promising option for the future.
Notably, Alstom has previously undertaken the implementation of Riyadh Metro Lines 3, 4, 5, and 6, a major project featuring six lines spanning 176 km and comprising 85 stations. It ranks among the world’s largest urban transit undertakings.
Having established its presence in the Kingdom as far back as 1951 with the installation of the first gas turbine, Alstom has been instrumental in advancing the region’s transport infrastructure. The company continues to be a prominent provider of sustainable mobility solutions in Saudi Arabia, thanks to its substantial investments in rail transport systems.