Riyadh Metro, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar Extracts Dhafrah TBM

Riyadh Metro, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar Extracts Dhafrah TBM :On 4 May 2016 Riyadh Governor HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar and members of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of the King Abdulaziz Project for Public Transport met at a site on Riyadh Metro Line 5, the Green Line, to attend the ceremony for the extraction of the Dhafrah Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).

At the ceremony Prince Faisal pushed the button to extract the TBM out of the ground at a site where digging has been completed “before the scheduled time.”

Prince Faisal had started the very same FAST consortium TBM on 30 April 2015, only one year earlier. Dhafrah, meaning “Victory”, has been used on the Green Line and was the first of seven TBMs put into service to construct the six line Riyadh Metro system, to bore the 12.9 km tunnel between Riyadh Airbase and King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre.

The Green Line features eleven stations and two endpoint transfer stations with the Blue and Red lines. The FAST consortium, led by Spanish construction group FCC and including Samsung C&T, Alstom, Strukton, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa and Setec, is also responsible for the Yellow and Purple lines.

When the entire metro system is complete in 2018 it will cover 176 km and have 85 stations, supported by a bus network of 1,150 km.

Prince Faisal told local press that “the project is going very well” and according to plan, after riding a golf cart into a smoothly bored and reinforced tunnel from what will be Malaz station on Line 3, the Orange Line, being built by the ArRiyadh New Mobility (ANM) consortium.

The governor said that what he saw underground was “assuring” and that one third of the metro is now complete. About 40% of the system will be underground. Work on the above-ground elevated sections is noticeable throughout the city, particularly on the approach to King Khaled International Airport.

Construction on the Riyadh Metro began in late 2013 and is targeted for completion by the end of 2018, more rapidly than similar projects in other countries.

At the end of April 2016 Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman released the wide-ranging Vision 2030 plan to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil. It calls for “high quality” public transport to help improve urban life.


Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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