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Alstom signs contract for AlUla Tramway Project in Saudi Arabia

Alstom is supplying 20 Citadis B battery trams and the corresponding infrastructure to the new AlUla tram system in Saudi Arabia I © Alstom

On January 3 Alstom signed a more than €500 million contract with The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) for AlUla’s pioneering battery-powered tramway – the world’s longest catenary-free line of its kind.

The fully integrated Alstom tramway system will feature 20 state-of-the-art Citadis B battery-trams. The 22.4 km line will encapsulate richness, history, and green mobility like no other, linking 17 strategically located stations, offering unmatched access to AlUla’s five core historical districts, including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as AlUla Old Town (District 1), Dadan (District 2), Jabal Ikmah (District 3), Nabataean Horizon (District 4), and Hegra Historical City (District 5).

The Citadis B battery trams will be adapted to the desert climate, including roof and sun visors. Platforms are provided between the two three-part carriages I © Alstom

This ambitious project aims to deliver unique transit options for residents and tourists, with innovative, climate-adapted trams.

“This project is truly unique as it combines sustainability, passenger experience, and immersion into the surroundings, in a region full of history and wonders. It is so much more than a tramway and we are extremely honoured to have been selected by the Royal Commission of AlUla. This project incorporates many key elements of Vision 2030 including Saudi Arabia’s focus on environmental stewardship. We very much look forward to unveiling it to the world,” said Mohamed Khalil, Managing Director of Alstom Saudi Arabia.

The interior is luxuriously designed with benches and tables I © Alstom

While French RATP Dev has been appointed responsible for the operation of the tram and the development of the AlUla Mobility concept, Alstom plays a pivotal role in this project, from comprehensive system design to integration, installation and testing and commissioning of the catenary-free and battery-powered tramway. Alstom will also deliver power supply, signalling, communication, and depot equipment and provide full maintenance for the trams for 10 years, using HealthHub, Alstom’s tool for predictive maintenance and fleet management to deliver the highest availability. The services teams will also use an itinerant workshop for all types of overhauls to be more flexible and reduce capital expenditure, and provide robust training programmes for tram personnel, ensuring operational efficiency. The project will draw on Alstom’s global in-house expertise in integrated railway systems. The trams will be manufactured across Alstom’s French production sites, including La Rochelle for both design and construction.

The trams will be fitted with Alstom’s in-house Mitrac B battery solution. Recharge will take place with the SRS ground-based static charging. Further details have not been disclosed yet.

The interior and exterior design of the AlUla Tram is based on the railway carriages of the so-called Hejaz Railway, which once connected Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia I © Alstom

This project builds upon Alstom’s pioneering expertise in the field of Tramways in the GCC. The company delivered the Dubai tramway, the first fully integrated tramway system in the Middle East and the world’s first 100% catenary-free line, which was opened in November 2014. Alstom also built the first tramway in Lusail Qatar, the largest tramway system project in the Gulf region and the first catenary-free tramway in the country, which transported passengers during the World Cup.

Alstom has been a reliable partner of Saudi Arabia’s history for over 70 years. The company has supported the Haramain high-speed rail line between Mecca and Medina and also supplies an integrated Metro System for Lines 3, 4, 5, and 6 and the operation and maintenance of these lines.

Alstom has also provided automated people mover (APM) system to Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, which has been in passenger service since 2020, for which the O&M maintenance has been carried out by Alstom since 2022.

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