Riyadh metro project

Part of the Riyadh Public Transport Project (RPTP), the Riyadh metro is a rapid transit system under construction in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The RPTP will be the largest public transport project, which comprises construction of a metro network, a bus system and other transport services in Riyadh.

Construction of the Riyadh metro started in April 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2018. Tunnelling work on Line 1 started in July 2015.

The metro project will be owned and operated by the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA). The project will have an execution period of five years and an optional maintenance service period for the next ten years. It is expected to create about 15,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh’s growing population

Riyadh had a population of 5.7 million in 2012, which is expected to increase to eight million by 2030. The new metro system will fulfil the demands of the growing population, as well as reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

Riyadh metro project history

The RPTP’s plan was developed by the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh. The plan received approval from the Riyadh Council of Ministers in April 2012.

The RPTP project will also include construction of a bus network. The bus network will be an 85km three-line Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) network, which will connect major locations in Riyadh. All stations of the metro will be integrated with the bus network.

Lines / routes of the Saudi Arabian transport project

"Riyadh had a population of 5.7 million in 2012, which is expected to increase to eight million by 2030."

The Riyadh metro will be 178km-long with six lines and 85 stations, including underground, elevated and at-grade sections.

Line 1 (Blue Line) will run from Olaya Street to Al Hayer Road. It will be 44km-long and will cover 39 stations.

Line 2 (Green Line) will connect King Abdullah Road to the King Fahad Stadum. It will have 14 stations and be 22km-long.

Line 3 (Red Line) will run from Madina Al Munawra to Rahman Al Awal Road. It will be the longest line of the metro, at 45km.

Line 4 (Orange Line) will run from the King Khaled International Airport to the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD).

Line 5 (Yellow Line) will start from the King Abdul Aziz Road. It will be 26km-long and have 26 stations.

Line 6 (Purple Line) will connect Abdul Rahman bin Ouf Street to the Shaikh Hassan bin Hussain bin Ali Street. It will be 30km-long and will feature nine stations.

Major stations of Riyadh’s public transport project

ADA selected three architecture firms to design and build three major stations of the metro. The three stations are the Olaya Metro Station, the Downtown Metro Station and the King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station.

"The Riyadh metro will be 178km-long with six lines and 85 stations, which includes underground, elevated and at-grade sections."

Gerber Architekten will design the Olaya Metro Station. The station will be located at the intersection of Lines 1 and 2. The station will feature a public plaza, a large entrance hall and an open concourse. The station will have a gross floor area of 68.85m² and a gross volume of 387m³. ADA is expected to invest $20m in the station.

Snohetta will design the Downtown station (Qasr Al Hokm). The station will be located between the Al Madinah Al Munnawarah Street and King Faisal Street. The station will act as a transport hub for Lines 1 and 3.

Zaha Hadid was selected to design and build King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station. The station is located at the east of the Northern Ring Road and slightly west of the King Fahad Road. It will serve Lines 1, 4 and 6.

Renewable energy will be the source of power for all the metro stations.

Contractors involved with the Riyadh metro project

ADA awarded the design and construction contract of the Riyadh metro to three consortiums BACS, ANM and FAST, in August 2013.

The BACS consortium includes Bechtel, Almabani General Contractors, Consolidated Contractors Company and Siemens. The consortium is led by Bechtel and will design and construct the metro lines 1 and 2. It will also be responsible for the train cars, signalling, electrification and integration of the lines to the metro network. The contract value is $9.4bn.

ANM’s $5.2bn contract includes construction of Line 3 of the metro, Qasr Al Hokom station and Western Station. The ArRiyadh New Mobility (ANM) consortium includes Ansaldo STS, Salini-Impregilo, Larsen & Toubro, Nesma and Bombardier. Larsen & Toubro and Nesma will provide civil works services, Bombardier will look after the procurement of the vehicles and Ansaldo STS will provide technology support services for the Line 3.

Ansaldo STS will also provide signalling support services, automation train control (ATC) and communication-based train control (CBTC) and other telecommunication services. The contract value for Ansaldo STS is $680m with an option to add $249m for maintenance of Line 3 for the next ten years.

Led by FCC Construccion, FAST received a $7.9bn contract to construct and design Lines 4, 5 and 6 of the metro. The consortium includes FCC Construccion, Samsung, Alstom, Strukton, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa and Setec. The scope of contract includes construction of 64.6km of rail track, 29.8km of viaducts, 26.6km of underground track and 8.2km of overground track.

Underground tunnels will be built with the help of three tunnel boring machines (TBM). The tunnels will have a 10m-diameter to facilitate the three metro lines. The $7.9bn will be financed through the Public Investment Fund of the Government of Saudi Arabia.

Alstom will provide its automated driverless metro system for the metro project under a $1.5bn (€1.2bn) contract.

In August 2013, a joint venture of Louis Berger and Hill International was awarded a $265m contract to offer project and construction management services for Lines 4, 5 and 6 and associated stations and tunnels. A joint venture of Egis, Parsons and Systra received a €425m ($563m) project management contract for Lines 1, 2 and 3.

L&T Construction won a $161.37m contract to design and construct ballastless tracks for Lines 1 and 2. Indra received a €266m ($320m) ticketing and access control technology contract for the Riyadh metro in January 2015.

Rolling stock for the metro system in Riyadh

Alstom will provide 69 metro trains for the Riyadh metro project. It will also supply its Urbalis signalling system, a train-braking, energy-recovery system called HESOP and Appitrack, a new technology to install tracks faster.

The metro trains will be operated in automated mode. Each train will have two cars. The driverless metro train will be 36m-long and 2.71m-wide.

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