24 Jul 2019
The challenge of the AVE of the desert, a documentary about the largest industrial project abroadZebra producciones adds to his professional trajectory the challenge of recording a documentary in extreme conditions, together with the well-known director Gerardo Olivares. This documentary shows the largest Spanish industrial project abroad and one of the great technological challenges, the high-speed train between Mecca and Medina (Saudi Arabia), Haramain High Speed Railway.
Building the high-speed train that crosses the desert with strong winds, sandstorms, temperatures over 50ºC has led to numerous innovations in the trains themselves as specific systems on the track, special materials, sand containment measures...
In the 52-minute documentary, impressive landscapes combines with interviews with key people for the project such as researchers, technicians, drivers, engineers ... who challenge the desert to connect the two pilgrimage cities, La Mecca and Medina, with trains that reach a speed exceeding 330 kilometers per hour.
Gerardo Olivares recently premiered the film 4 latas, has travel to more than one hundred countries as director of documentaries for major international networks such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Netflix, ZDF, TVE, NHK, RAI ...
When asking Gerardo Olivares why this project is special for him as a filmmaker, he told us: “Because it is one of the most ambitious engineering works of the last decades. Because I want to meet the people who are making it possible. Because I want to know what are the challenges of putting a train at more than 330 km / hour in the middle of the desert. Because Spain is a world leader in rail technology. Because I want to know how a project of this size with 12 Spanish companies involved is managed. Because I want to know how it will affect the entire Arabian Peninsula and because I feel very proud as a Spaniard of this project and to be able to spread it worldwide.
Jorge Segrelles, president of the Spanish High Speed Consortium Meca Medina, said: “We are very pleased to inform the public about the experience of the Consortium workers and the companies that make it a reallity, thanks to the work done by Gerardo and Zebra Producciones. Phase 2 of Haramain High Speed Railway represents a technological and management challenge that we have successfully overcome thanks to the intervention of all parties. This documentary is a testimony of this, as well as the experiences and impressions of the people linked, directly and indirectly, to the project ”.
Al Shoula Consortium develops since 2012 the contract for the execution of the second phase of the Haramain project of the high-speed railway line between Mecca and Medina (Saudi Arabia). The project is being carried out with Spanish technology, which brings more than 25 years of experience as a leading country in high-speed execution. It includes the design and implementation of the track and systems in the 450 kilometers of platform, the supply of 35 trains (plus a VIP train) and the management, operation and maintenance of the line and stations for 12 years. The Consortium consists of 12 Spanish companies (Abengoa Inabensa, Adif, Cobra, Consultrans, Copasa, Imathia, Indra, Ineco, OHL, Renfe, Siemens Rail Automation and Talgo) and two Saudis (Al Rosan and Al Shoula). Since its inauguration in September 2018 and the beginning of commercial activity in October of that same year, it offers regular passenger services between the cities of Mecca and Medina. Until June it has already transported about 700,000 passengers and has traveled more than 900,000 kilometers.