SAUDI ARABIA: Arriyadh Development Authority announced the winners of three turnkey contracts for the construction of a 176 km six-line driverless metro network in Riyadh on July 29.

The overall budget for the metro is €16·3bn, making it one of the world's largest public infrastructure projects. Design work is to begin immediately, with construction scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2014 for opening in 2018.

The 87 stations will be air-conditioned, and the trains will offer first, family and single class accommodation .

Lines 1 and 2

The BACS consortium led by Bechtel and including Almabani General Contractors, Consolidated Contractors Company and Siemens is to design and build lines 1 and 2, totalling 63·3 km. The contract is valued at US$9·45bn.

Much of the north - south Line 1 will be underground, while east - west Line 2 will be mostly elevated in a road median strip.

Line 3

The ArRiyadh New Mobility consortium has been awarded a US$5·21bn contract to design and build Line 3, which will be the longest line at 40·7 km and have 22 stations.

The consortium comprises two groups. The electrical and mechanical equipment is to be delivered by the Electrical Work Group comprising Ansaldo STS and Bombardier Transportation. Infrastructure will be delivered by the Civil Work Group of Salini-Impregilo, Larsen & Toubro, and Nesma.

The consortium is led by Ansaldo STS, with a US$680m share of the contract which CEO Sergio De Luca described as 'one of the most important in our history'. This includes provision of automation systems, CBTC, third rail power supplies, the control centre, telecoms and fitting out the depots.

Bombardier Transportation's US$383m share of the contract includes the supply of 47 two-car driverless Innovia Metro 300 trains with Mitrac traction equipment.

The consortium is also to build the landmark Qasr Al Hokom and Western stations, taking the total value of the works to US$5·9bn. There is also a potential option worth US$249m for 10 years of maintenance of the line.

Lines 4, 5, 6

The FAST consortium led by Spanish construction group FCC and including Samsung C&T, Alstom, Strukton, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa and Setec is to build lines 4, 5 and 6 for US$7·82bn. FCC said this would be 'the largest international contract in the history of construction in which a Spanish company has been awarded a contract.'

The contract cover the design and construction of three lines totalling 64·6 km. This includes 25 stations, 29·8 km of viaduct and 8·2 km at-grade, with three tunnel boring machines to be used to build the 26·6 km of the lines in 10 m diameter tunnel.

Alstom's €1·2bn share of the contract includes supplying 69 two-car Metropolis automated trainsets about 36 m long and 2 710 mm wide, along with Urbalis signalling, its Appitrack mechanised tracklaying technology and HESOP substations which allow regenerated electricity to be returned to the grid.

There is an option for 10 years of maintenance.


The metro project is being funded by the government through the Public Investment Fund, and according to Arriyadh Development Authority is expected to 'transform' the capital city

'Riyadh today is one of the world's fastest growing cities and our citizens deserve a world-class public transport system to enhance their quality of life' said Ibrahim Bin Muhammad Al Sultan, President of ADA and Member of the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh. 'The Riyadh Public Transport Project will be a major driver of employment and economic development. It will also help to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. This is the biggest infrastructure project to be undertaken in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is a cornerstone of the bold future we envision for our city.'

Riyadh metro network

  • Overall budget €16·3bn (2 ½ x Haramain High Speed Railway)
  • Six lines
  • 176 route-km
  • 600 000 tonnes of steel (80 x Eiffel Tower)
  • 4·3 million m3 concrete (11 x Burj Khalifa)
  • 30 000 workers during construction
  • Five year construction timescale

Planned Riyadh metro network
LineRouteLength, km
1 BlueOlaya Street - Batha Street - Al Hayer Road39
2 GreenKing Abdullah Road25
3 RedMadina Al Munawra - Amir Saad bin Abdul - Rahman Al Awal Road40
4 Orange King Abdullah Finance District - King Khaled International Airport30
5 Yellow King Abdul Aziz Road13
6 PurpleAbdul Rahman bin Ouf Street - Shaikh Hassan bin Hussain bin Ali Street30