4 MAY 2018: By the middle of 2018, all of the 69 Metropolis trains which will run on Metro Lines 4, 5 and 6 will have been delivered to Riyadh from a state-of-the-art production facility in Katowice, Poland.
For Alstom, which is supplying the fully integrated Metro system for the three lines of Package 3 covering trains, signaling and power supply systems for 64.5km of track, 29 stations and two depots, the project is another prestigious landmark.
Bertrand Constensoux, Deputy Project Director and Alstom representative in the FAST Consortium, says that even though Alstom has a large, historical experience on major Metro projects to date - more than 5,000 of its Metropolis trainsets operate around the world - its $1.3 billion Riyadh contract necessitated a departure from traditional project approaches in order to execute volumes of activity which are far beyond standard projects.
Constensoux arrived in Riyadh in August 2017 to oversee Alstom’s commitments within FAST’s track joint venture (TJV) and transit systems (TSY) entities, and provide strategic support to fellow consortium partners.
“The DNA of the partners is diverse. One of my tasks is to find the right chemistry between them, and ensure everyone works together in the best interests of the project,” he explains.
Like the other contractors, one of Alstom’s responsibilities within FAST is to support the training and development of Saudis, as well as promoting the image of public transport in the Kingdom to encourage more young people to consider it as a career. Company personnel have since 2015 been delivering technical presentations at universities in Riyadh, while in the summers of 2016 and 2017 Alstom hosted around 350 Saudi interns at its Paris headquarters, as well as sites in Madrid (Spain) and Katowice (Poland), where they had first-hand experience of the Metropolis trains being manufactured.
“With our partners in FAST, we have developed specific training modules for Saudis, as part of the Joint Technology Transfer Program (JTTP), with the objective of opening up new areas of expertise in the Kingdom,” Constensoux says.
“For Alstom, that is a strategically-important move, because we have a long-term vision to participate in the development of Saudi Arabia’s future mobility. It therefore makes sense for us to develop local competencies and capabilities and support our Customer, the ADA, in establishing a Public Transport Institute (PTI).”
The ADA has placed paramount importance on the passenger experience and train comfort, and with a specific brief to the manufacturers to incorporate design elements that ‘resonate’ with the people of Riyadh, Constensoux explains.Subscribe to continue reading...