SAUDI ARABIA: State-backed Technical & Vocational Training Corp is to establish a training facility for Saudi Railway Company staff working on the North-South Railway.

Intended to form a 2400 km spine down the country for mineral traffic, the North-South Railway is already operational in places, although full commercial operations are not expected to begin for freight flows until next year, with passenger services following in 2014.

TVTC’s academy is intended to provide ‘advanced and comprehensive’ training for young Saudis in essential skills such as locomotive driving and rolling stock maintenance. TVTC’s syllabus will also include courses on infrastructure management and train control, with an emphasis on practical skills such as rail welding. The academy is expected to have capacity for between 800 and 1000 trainees.