University of Birmingham and Saudi Arabia Railways sign MoU

Saudi Arabia Railways and the University of Birmingham have signed an MoU to collaborate on railway education.


Left to right, back row: Paul Plummer, Professor of Rail Strategy, BCRRE; Mr Salah A. Alomair, VP Shared Services, SAR; Robert Hopkin, International Collaboration & SME Engagement, BCRRE; Yazeed Binrubayyi, Talent Management Manager, SAR. Front row: Mrs Alaa A. Al Amro, Organisation Excellence Senior Manager, SAR and Professor Clive Roberts, Director, BCRRE. - Credit: University of Birmingham

Saudi Arabia Railways (SAR) and the University of Birmingham have signed an agreement to collaborate on research and development and railway education.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two organisations will see experts in the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) working with SAR to deliver specialised railway education for SAR employees. In addition, the agreement will seek out opportunities for joint research and development programmes that will leverage the unique expertise from each organisation.


Saudi Arabia Railways is the largest state-owned railway operator in the Middle East, with ambitious and high-tech growth plans for both its passenger and freight railways business over the next five years.

BCRRE is the largest specialist railway research, education, and innovation centre in Europe, with extensive industry and academic links around the globe. An active member of the European Rail Clusters Initiative, it is also the lead university in the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), networks which will be of benefit as SAR’s strategy progresses.

“SAR has an ambitious growth strategy, which we are very excited to be supporting,” Professor Clive Roberts, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, said. “Together we can ensure access to expertise, cutting-edge technology, and a pipeline of next generation engineers that will secure a robust future for the industry in Saudi Arabia.”

“The launch of SAR’s five-year strategy in 2020 made it essential for SAR to build a national pool of talent for its various functions,” Abdulrahman Turkistani, Human Resources and Support Services General Manager for SAR, said. “This will ensure that SAR can achieve and go beyond its ambitious targets. We chose the University of Birmingham as our partner to deliver their world class technical railway education to our national talent pool.”