China Railway Construction has awarded a €103m contract to Thales for it to supply driverless train control and communications systems for its Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro project in Saudi Arabia.

Thales will supply, integrate and deploy its fully automated SelTrac Communications-Based Train Control system for the 20km Metro line, the first Metro in the city of Mecca.

The centrally controlled trains will run driverless with just an attendant on board.

The Metro is scheduled to run in November 2010 during the Hajj pilgrimage, with a capacity of 72,000 passengers per hour in each direction.