Renfe: 34 women drive trains in Saudi Arabia, for the first time in history

Renfe: 34 women drive trains in Saudi Arabia, for the first time in history

This means that 24% of the 140 drivers are women. The average age of the new drivers is 26.8 years and 73% of them are university graduates. They drive trains on the Haramain high-speed railway between Mecca and Medina, operated by Renfe KSA (the Saudi branch of the Spanish operator).

The call to select the country's first female train drivers created a huge stir in Saudi society: 28,000 women applied. Of these, 14,000 passed the first stage of the selection process and took an on-site examination at the Saudi Railway Polytechnic in the city of Qassim.

The training program for this ninth generation of local train drivers, similar to that in Spain and carried out entirely in Saudi Arabia, began on 13 March 2022 with a theoretical-practical cycle of 1,157 hours, covering, among other things, basic railway concepts, knowledge of the infrastructure and signaling system, traffic and safety rules, and technical aspects of the train.

The practical training, which began last August with cab rides with Renfe supervisors and accompanied driving, consisted of 674 hours.

Six of these new train drivers were already part of the Renfe KSA staff, where they performed tasks in other areas, such as station services or on-board train staff.
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