The FCC-led FAST consortium has broken through on the first tunnel section of line 5 (green line) of the Riyadh Metro in Saudi Arabia. The consortium is also responsible for lines 4 and 6 of the project.
The 1.2 km tunnel was completed using a tunnel boring machine (TBM). Excavation of the tunnel began on 30 June at the new central office for the Ministry of Education. Work will now continue on the north section of line 5 to take it to Riyadh Airbase Roundabout, completing a 5 km section of the line. A further 12.9 km tunnel on line 5 is being excavated by a second TBM.
The FAST consortium said it would use three 19 m diameter TBMs across the three lines it is engaged to construct. Overall, seven TBMs will be used to complete the Riyadh Metro project, which is believed to be the largest underground commuter train network under construction worldwide, covering 176 km and 85 stations.
The project is expected to be completed finished by the end of 2018. FAST, which comprises Samsung, Alstom, Strukton, Freyssinet Saudi Arabia, Typsa, Atkins and Setec alongside FCC, will employ close to 15,000 workers of more than 33 nationalities on the scheme.