SAUDI ARABIA: A ceremony on June 8 marked the completion of tunnelling work on Line 5 of the Riyadh metro, when TBM Dhafrah broke through at the site of station 5B3. Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Transport Minister Suleiman Al Hamdan were among those present.

Line 5, also known as the Green Line, will run under King Abdulaziz Road on a north-south 13 km route with 13 stations. Interchange will be provided at its southern end with Line 1 and at its northern end with Line 2.

Two 19 m diameter TBMs supplied by Herrenknecht were used to bore the tunnels for Line 5; San’ah completed tunnelling in February. Herrenknecht has supplied a further four TBMs for the six-line project, with one coming from NFM technologies.

The event also marked the official start of tracklaying on the Riyadh metro, on the at-grade section of Line 4. Alstom is responsible for tracklaying as part of the FAST consortium that was awarded a design-build contract in 2013 covering lines 4, 5 and 6. The consortium is led by FCC and also includes Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Samsung C&T, Strukton, Setec and Typsa.

Alstom’s €1·2bn share of the €5·8bn contract includes Urbalis communications-based train control, power supplies and its HESOP system which allows regenerated energy to be returned to the supply grid.

Alstom is also supplying 69 two-car trainsets from its Katowice plant in Poland. Production started in November 2015, and a full-size mock-up is now on display in Riyadh, with the first three trains to be delivered next year. The driverless trainsets from Alstom’s Metropolis family will be 36 m long and 2 710 mm wide, with three classes including first and family. Traction subsystems and auxiliary converters are being supplied from Charleroi, with passenger information and security systems from Madrid. Alstom’s French sites are also involved.