Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Saudi Railway Organization is recruiting

The US $1.8 billion (SAR6.8 billion) Mecca-Medina high-speed railway contract has been awarded to a Saudi-French-Chinese consortium.

The Al-Rajhi construction group together with France's Alstom and China Railway Engineering won the civil works contract, an official of the Saudi Railways Organisation told AFP news agency.

The contract is the first stage of a $6 billion plan to build a 444km high-speed railroad linking the two Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina through the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

The project aims to ferry hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at speeds reaching 360km per hour.

The Saudi Railway Organization is recruiting various engineering field candidates (mech/elec/eletronics/civil/communication/instrumention etc) (freshiers can allso apply) for their Railway Line project through its China Contracting Co. The contact email is given below ( pls send your cv s to this email only):



Saudi Rail Expansion

Saudi Arabia links the holy cities - at 300 km/h

Riyadh - Trains have the power to transform: From Britain's industrial revolution to the latter-day mobilization of millions of Chinese migrant workers, railways change societies. The appeal of high-speed rail networks, which cut carbon emissions, create jobs and energize economies, has been obvious in Europe.

Now Saudi Arabia is getting on board.

Even in tough economic times, France, Spain and Britain have been investing in high-speed passenger trains traveling at over 300 kilometres per hour. The world economy may be slowing, but trains are getting faster.

Saudi Arabias Haramain High Speed Rail project is, however, unique as it does not connect ordinary locations. It connects the profane world of commerce with somethinG altogether higher - the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. 'Haramain' in Arabic means two holy places.'

If all goes as planned, by 2012 Haramain will link the ancient sea port of Jeddah and the gleaming new King Abdullah Economic City with the shrines of Mecca in the south and Medina in the north, by way of an electric passenger train capable of reaching 360 kilometres per hour.

Along the way, it will pass through ultra-modern stations designed by the world renowned London architectural firm of Norman Foster.

The first-phase contracts for the railway were awarded in April 2009, and although the full design characteristics have yet to be decided, the project partners are nothing but ambitious.

Mouzhan Majidi, chief executive of Foster and Partners, hailed the project as having 'potentially far-reaching social and economic consequences' and fostering 'new social and cultural connections across the kingdom's western cities.'

Given Saudi Arabias unique religious status, its position as the largest economy in the Gulf and the worlds largest oil producer, the significance of the project is obvious.

Some 3 million pilgrims pass through Jeddah on their way to the two holy cities every year, and as the kingdom is attempting to diversify its economy away from oil and oil-related industries, a conduit for trade is clearly needed.

The design of the project has to cope with some tough parameters, both physical and human. Temperatures in the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia can range from zero degrees Celsius to over 50, and the network has to be able to cope with a huge influx of passengers for the annual pilgrimage.

Salim Ahmed, project manager of the Haramain railway, told the German Press Agency dpa that 'the difference in temperature is critical, but the way the track is designed works with that change.'

Aside from the heat and the holy places, Saudi Arabia is also known for its strict interpretation of Islams rules on relations between the sexes. Segregation in public places, although applied with varying stringency in the kingdoms cities, is typical.

According to Salim Ahmed, there will be no segregation built into the design of the trains themselves.

'We dont segregate by male and female we segregate by first class and second class,' he told dpa.

'Segregation (of the sexes) takes place naturally here in Saudi Arabia,' he added.

When the stations and network is built, passengers will move through some monumental architecture. The Mecca and Medina terminuses must, according to the Saudi Railways Organization, be 'exceptional, iconic, landmark buildings' - a tall order in a region full of bold architectural statements.

But perhaps the most lasting transformation that the railway could bring is a change in the culture of travel in the region - away from gas-guzzling SUVs and towards high-tech, efficient public transport, with enough status and luxury to satisfy a confident and wealthy public.

Salim Ahmed thinks the change will be lasting, and seen throughout the region.

Already Dubai is nearing completion of its own fully automated metro system, due to open in September 2009 and expected to relieve pressure on the citys commuters from the current chronic traffic jams.

In total, Saudi Arabia is spending some 15 billion dollars to upgrade its rail network, and the kingdoms of Qatar and Kuwait are investing around 10 billion dollars each.

'In 20 years, railways will have changed the Gulf. It will have become the norm,' Ahmed predicted.