SAUDI ARABIA: The first Inspiro trainset for the Riyadh metro was unveiled at Siemens’ Simmering plant in Wien on February 23.

A trainset is currently being tested at the Rail Tec Arsenal climate chamber in Wien, and dynamic trials at the Siemens test centre at Wildenrath in Germany are scheduled to begin this spring.

‘Our project teams in Wien and Saudi Arabia poured all their heart and soul into the development and completion of the first train which is specially equipped for the extreme climatic conditions in Riyadh’, said Siemens Mobility Division CEO Jochen Eickholt.

Siemens is part of the BACS consortium with Bechtel, Almabani General Contractors and Consolidated Contractors Co which is building lines 1 and 2 of the driverless metro network. Siemens’ €1·5bn share of the contract includes the rolling stock, signalling and electrification equipment.

Siemens is to supply 45 four-car Inspiro trainsets for Line 1 and 29 two-car sets for Line 2. The air-conditioned aluminium-bodied trains will have a maximum speed of 90 km/h. Work to adaprt the Inspiro design to local conditions has included fitting the bogies, traction systems, brakes and doors with seals and filters to reduce sand ingress.

Construction of the six-line metro network has been divided into three works packages. Bombardier is supplying 47 two-car Innovia 300 trainsets for Line 3 as part of the ArRiyadh New Mobility Consortium. Alstom is building 69 two-car Metropolis trainsets for lines 4, 5 and 6 at its Katowice plant in Poland as a member of the FAST consortium which also includes FCC, Samsung C&T, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Strukton, Setec and Typsa.