Construction starts on $10bn Riyadh Metro project

The project director says the 176km driverless metro network will revolutionise how people move around the city.
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Construction has reportedly begun on Riyadh’s new $10bn metro, in what is planned to be Saudi Arabia’s first underground rail system and one of the largest in the world.

The work includes 39 stations, including two key interchange stations.

“The metro, set to be the cornerstone of Riyadh’s new public transport network, will revolutionise how people move around the city,” said Amjad Bangash, project director for Bechtel, a member of the consortium commissioned to build the network.

“Sending our team’s first tunnel boring machine on its underground voyage is a significant step for all.”

The first two of the six planned metro lines are expected to be the most challenging.

Seven tunnel boring machines will be deployed to dig and construct more than 35kms of tunnels beneath the city, SaudiGazette reported.

It is expected to take a year.

The Riyadh Metro is at the centre of the capital’s plan to cater for a projected 50% increase in the population. The 176-km, driverless network is expected to carry 400,000 passengers daily.

It is scheduled to open to passengers in 2018.

Last year, Riyadh Gov. Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz announced Saudi women would be among those recruited to work on the metro in the capital city.

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