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Saudi Arabia Railways Locomotive Maintenance Plans


Saudi Arabia Railway (SAR) operates SD70 and GPL38 diesel-electric locomotives built by Electro-Motive Diesel, which are maintained in accordance with SAR procedures and information provided by the manufacturer.

Used for heavy-haul services, both vehicles were designed to operate in desert environments, with sand resistant features such as active air filtration, sealed components and sand plows.

In 2020, SAR sought to improve its maintenance manuals and supporting documents, with a team of rolling stock experts from Ricardo appointed to oversee the task.


Delivered in planned stages, our work included reviews of the fault-finding guides for both models, as well as storage and commissioning documents, and depot working instructions.

Activities included comparison of SAR’s current processes and the manufacturer’s guidance, with gaps and inconsistencies highlighted for attention and recommendations for optimisation detailed. The objective was to ensure all potential scenarios, including unscheduled repairs, were fully accounted for.


After a 12 month review, we provided updated maintenance documentation for both vehicles in a new consistent format. Our submissions specified additional tasks for inclusion in regular maintenance schedules, as well as processes to help anticipate unscheduled requirements.

The updated documents means SAR’s depots are able to improve the reliability and availability of the locomotives with greater efficiency.


Saudi Arabia Railways

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Saudi Arabia, Riyadh

Asset management
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