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Why didn't they choose desert rail operator?

Thales signs Saudi North–South Railway maintenance deal
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/infrastructure/single-view/view/thales-signs-saudi-north-south-railway-maintenance-deal.html

I think that rail maintenance of Saudi Arabia's rail system should be undertaken by rail companies which have rail networks in desert area.
There would be a lot of dificulties to operate trains traversing desert.
So, it's mysterious that Thales undertook that maintenance deal.