Riyadh metro project: Logistics major challenge

Riyadh's new 176.6 km six-line metro has completed 40% of the project.

28 May 2016
Riyadh - Riyadh's new 176.6 km six-line metro has completed 40 percent of the project.

The project work is maintaining the progress as scheduled and will open the metro's three lines at the end of 2018 or early in 2019.

This is indicated by the Fast consortium, which is constructing lines 4, 5 and 6 of the metro.

In 2014, Fast was awarded a $7.8 billion design and build contract for the three lines, which total 63.8 km with 26 stations, in 2014.

Fast is led by FCC and includes Alstom, Samsung, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Strukton, Setec and Typsa.

Alstom is supplying 69 two-car Metropolis trains, its Urbalis communications-based train control (CBTC) system, power supply and its Hesop energy recovery system as part of its 1.2 billion-euro contract.

"One of the main challenges is logistics," says Jaime Freyre, Fast's project director. "There are 50,000 people of 38 nationalities speaking 22 different languages working on the entire project. None of them speak in their own language as everyone tries to use English. We had to provide accommodation, food and transport for about 4,000 people, and the first year was spent mainly in mobilization."

Another challenge has been coordinating with the two consortiums' building the other three lines, as well as with the client ArRiyadh Development Authority (ADA), the city and its citizens.

"We have had to divert utilities and road traffic throughout the city, so we have had to find innovative ways to communicate with people," he added. © Arab News 2016