Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University light metro (Photo: Hitachi Rail)

SAUDI ARABIA: Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University has awarded Hitachi Rail a €72·5m contract to continue to operate and maintain the driverless light metro on its Riyadh campus for a further three years.

The four-line network serving the women’s university campus totals 11·5 km with 14 stations, is worked by a fleet of 22 two-car trainsets with a capacity of 110 passengers and a maximum speed of 60 km/h.

Opened in 2012, the light metro was designed and built by consortium of Ansaldo STS and AnsaldoBreda under a €218m contract awarded in 2009. The technology is similar to that which is used on the København metro, but the cars have enhanced air-conditioning and protection against dust.

Both suppliers were subsequently acquired by Hitachi Rail, which has operated and maintained the network since March 2018.

The award of a new operating contract ‘is an important further milestone that consolidates our presence in the Middle East, one of the Operation, Service & Maintenance Division target markets’, said Edoardo La Ficara, the division’s Executive Officer, on January 19.