Alstom completes first Riyadh Metro train units

Turn-key rail systems provider Alstom dispatches first Riyadh Metro train to Saudi Arabia and invites the Arriyadh Development Authority to inspect the end product

The exteriors of the metro trainsets have painted stripes that indicate the colour of the line that each will circulate on.
The exteriors of the metro trainsets have painted stripes that indicate the colour of the line that each will circulate on.

France’s Alstom has unveiled the first series production train units for the Riyadh Metro in a visit by Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA) to see the second completed train off the production line in Katowice, Poland, after the first unit was dispatched to Saudi Arabia by sea on 10 January, 2017.

Alstom is supplying 69 Metropolis automated aluminium two-cars trainsets, each 36 metre-long and suitable for accommodating up to 231 passengers, for lines 4, 5 and 6 (or Yellow, Green, and Purple) of the $22.5bn transport system as part of the FAST consortium led by FCC Construction.

This construction package covers 64.5km of track and 29 stations, and includes 33km of viaduct. The value of the project awarded to FAST is $6.4bn, and Alstom’s share represents more than $1.3bn.

Alstom’s metro trains are 100% motorised, allowing them to run on track with slope gradients of up to six percent, and on the flat are designed to run on standard-gauge track at a top speed of 90 km/h.

Presently, three trainsets are being tested and another eight metro trainsets are currently in the production phase, and the complete order of metro trainsets, along with the infrastructure, is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2018.

As turn-key solution provider, Alstom is also supplying its Urbalis signalling for the automatic train control and power supply, together with its Hesop braking energy recovery system that will prevent additional warming in the tunnels and reduce the overall energy consumption by as much as 20%.

Alstom is also deploying the tracks with Appitrack, a mechanised solution which allows to install tracks three to four times faster than with traditional methods, reducing logistics, CO2 emissions, noise, dust and waste, and limiting the disturbance caused to road traffic.

Train design

The trains have also been designed with the region’s climate in mind, with a more powerful air conditioning system capable of delivering sufficient cooling capacity even in extreme heat.

In addition, the bogies, traction drive, brakes and doors have been fitted with special elements in order to prevent the ingress of sand.

The interior and exterior design of all the units has been developed to a specific brief from ADA that incorporates aesthetic elements that will resonate with the people of Riyadh, including a traditional triangle pattern used in older houses and handrails shaped like a palm tree branching outwards.

Each train features three classes: first, family and single class, separated by glass partitions, while the exteriors have painted stripes to indicate the colour of the line the metro trainset will circulate on.

FAST consortium

Alongside FCC Construction and Alstom, the FAST consortium includes Samsung C&T, Strukton and Freysinnet.

To read more about the viaduct gantry installation work being carried out the consortium, see: The FAST Lane

For more on the TBM tunnelling work being carried out by the consortium on line 6, see: Belly of the beast

Aside from the construction, the consortium is also responsible for training Saudi graduates in the range of administrative and technical skills to operate and maintain the metro system, and foreseeably to be able to plan and manage other major projects in the future.

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