Riyadh Metro

Riyadh Metro
Siemens Inspiro on the Blue and Red Lines.
Siemens Inspiro on the Blue and Red Lines.
Siemens Inspiro interior design during innoTrans 2016.
Siemens Inspiro interior design during innoTrans 2016.
Native nameقطار الرياض
OwnerThe Royal Commission for Riyadh City (RCRC)
LocaleRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
Transit typeRapid Transit
Number of lines6
Line number 1   2   3   4   5   6 
Number of stations84
Operation will startEarly 2024
CharacterElevated & Underground
Number of vehicles586 car
Train length2–4 coaches
System length176 km (109 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Riyadh Metro Blue Line and Red Line train at the Northwest Railway Station in Brigittenau, Vienna, Austria
Riyadh Metro map

The Riyadh Metro (Arabic: قطار الرياض Giṭār Ar-riyāḍ, pronounced [gɪˈtˤaːr ərːɪˈjaːðˤ]) is a rapid transit system under construction in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. It is part of the King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport and will consist of six metro lines spanning a total length of 176 kilometres (109 mi), with 85 stations. The project will cost $22.5 billion to build. It is expected to open to passengers in 2024.

This will be the second metro system in Saudi Arabia, after the Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro line, which opened in November 2010, fourth on the Arabian Peninsula, sixth in the Arab World, and fifteenth in the Middle East.


Estimates suggest that Riyadh's population will grow from about 6 million to more than 8.5 million over the next 10 years.[when?][citation needed] In June 2013, a shortlist of three major global consortia was chosen to build the metro.[1] Contracts were awarded in July 2013, with construction planned to start in 2014 and take 4 years.[2] The groundbreaking ceremony was celebrated on April 4, 2014.[3] It is currently being built by construction companies including Bechtel, Almabani General Contractors, Consolidated Contractors Company, Strukton, Webuild, Larsen & Toubro, Samsung and Nesma.[4]


BACS: Bechtel / Almabani / CCC / Siemens

ANM: (Arriyadh New Mobility): Webuild (at the time of signature, Impregilo, then Salini-Impregilo) / Bombardier / Ansaldo / Larsen & Toubro / WorleyParsons

FAST: FCC / Atkins / Alstom / Samsung / Strukton / TYPSA (Tecnica Y Proyectos)

The new project is expected to be the centerpiece of the city's public transport system, integrated with an 85-kilometre (53 mi) three-line bus rapid transit (BRT) network.[5] The project will contribute to reducing the number of car trips by nearly 250 thousand trips a day, equivalent to 400 thousand liters of fuel per day, thus reducing the air pollutant emissions in the city. It is expected that the capacity of the project will reach 3.6 million passengers a day.[6]

In February 2018, Riyadh governor, Prince Faisal bin Bandar, stated that 68% of the project has been finished and that the metro will go Demo Run in late September 2018.[7] In March 2018, the Saudi economy minister Mohammad Al Tuwaijri commented at the Saudi-UK CIO Forum in London that a soft opening is planned for 2019 (June–August) and the full availability of the system is expected in 2021.[8] In December 2021, it was announced that more than 90% of the project had been completed, with testing well underway.[9]

In March 2023, opening was planned for early 2024.[10]


The transit system is planned to have 85 train stations,[11] including a number of interchange stations. Naming rights for 15 out of the 85 stations are planned to be awarded by the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA). These rights include space for shops and advertising within the stations.[12]

The vehicles and stations are monitored by cameras, early warning systems, and communication systems that are directly connected to the main control centre. The main stations are characterized by monorail sites designed in several levels. These sites will be air-conditioned taking into account the comfort and safety of passengers. The stations will also use solar cells technology to save about 20% of the power required for air-conditioning and lightning.[13]

National Museum Station

National Museum Station is the 2nd largest and one of the most iconic stations on the Riyadh Metro, 1 of 4 Transfer stations on Line 1, National Museum Station is where Line 1 and Line 5 meet. The station is located in the Al Batha area of Riyadh. The gross floor area (GFA) of the station itself is about 72'000 m². The Station's external envelope is designed to replicate Saudi Arabia' mountainous region, with a unique double skin facade, internal blue panels replicating the sky and external concrete panels through which the blue can be seen, to represent the mountains, the station is unique in that it also has a new bus terminal adjacent, the design of which is to replicate a Bedouin tent.

STC Station

Olaya metro station is one of the three main transportation stations in the Riyadh Metro. Gerber Architekten won the competition for the metro station in 2012. Construction started in 2014 and planned to be completed in 2019. This station will allow access for Line 1 and Line 2 trains. The gross floor area (GFA) is about 97,000 m2 (1,040,000 sq ft). It is located on the intersection of King Abdullah Road with King Fahad Road and Olaya Street. Its design proposes the idea of Public gardens that extend over the entire area of the station. Metro customers are invited to use the public gardens. The gardens are characterized by palm trees erected on top of the station, designated picnic areas, and WiFi coverage. Stairs, lifts, and escalators connect all the levels allowing access to everyone including people with special needs. There is also a public parking located underneath the plaza. Recently the initial plan has been changed and no longer features gardens of the roof and is now rectangular in shape though it still has all the other features. In 2018 the station was named STC station.[14]

Western Metro Station

The station covers an area of 12,500 m2 (135,000 sq ft). The station is located on the land currently used for the Central Vegetable Market of Al-Suwaidi Al-Gharbi. The station will be composed of a bus route and a link to Line 3. Omrania & Associates has won the competition to design the western metro station.[13][15]

King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station

The station covers an area of 8,150 m2 (87,700 sq ft). The station is located at the east of the Northern Ring Road. It connects metro lines 1, 4, 6, and the KAFD's monorail. The station is designed by Zaha Hadid Architects from the UK.[13]

Qasr Al-Hukm Metro Station

This station covers an area of 19,600 m2 (211,000 sq ft) and will connect Line 1 and Line 3 trains. Snøhetta from Norway had won the competition to design the Qasr Al-Hukm Metro Station.[13]


The Metro Project include the following six lines, also shown in figure 1:

Line Code Line Name Line Length No. of stations Interchange/Transfer stations Notes
 1  Blue Line 38 km (24 mi) 22 stations 4 stations runs in the north–south direction along Olaya and Batha streets, starting from slightly north of King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Street and ending at Dar AlBaida Sports Ground in the south and terminating at the South Depot/Workshop for the Line 1 . The Metro will be mostly underground in a tunnel along Olaya and King Faisal Streets, and elevated on a viaduct along Batha Street and at the northern and southern ends.
 2  Red Line 25.3 km (15.7 mi) 13 stations 3 stations runs in the east–west direction along King Abdullah Road, between King Saud University and the eastern sub-center, mostly on a raised strip in the median of a planned freeway.
 3  Orange Line 40.7 km (25.3 mi) 20 stations 2 stations runs in the east–west direction along Al–Madinah Al Munawwarah and Prince Saad Bin Abdulrahman Al Awal Roads, starting at the west near Jeddah Expressway and ending at the east near the National Guard camp of Khashm El Aan. The metro will be mostly elevated along the western part of Al–Madinah Al Munawwarah Road, then underground in tunnels in the central section of the line, and generally at grade along Prince Saad Ibn Abdulrahman Road.
 4  Yellow Line 29.6 km (18.4 mi) 8 stations (3 common with Line 6) 4 stations will run from the King Khaled International Airport to the new King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD).
 5  Green Line 12.9 km (8.0 mi) 10 stations 2 stations runs underground in a tunnel along King Abdulaziz Street, between King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre and the Riyadh Airbase, before connecting with King Abdullah Road.
 6  Purple Line 29.9 km (18.6 mi) 8 stations (3 common with Line 4) 3 stations follows a half-ring starting at King Abdullah Financial District, passing by Imam Mohamed Bin Saud University and ending at Prince Saad Ibn Abdulrahman Al Awal Road. It runs mostly elevated except along Sheikh Hasan Bin Husein Bin Ali Street.

The project was originally led by the late Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,[5] former governor of Riyadh and chairman of the Arriyadh Development Authority, and is now led by Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud, the current governor of Riyadh.

The total route length is 176.4 km (109.6 mi).


Rolling stock

  • Siemens is supplying 45 4-car Inspiro trainsets for Line 1 and 29 2-car sets for Line 2.[16] The first was unveiled in Vienna on 23 February 2016.[16]
  • Bombardier (later Alstom) will deliver 47 two-car Innovia Metro 300 trainsets for Line 3.[17]
  • Alstom will deliver 69 Metropolis train sets for line 4, 5 and 6 of the Riyadh Metro.[18][19] The first trainset was handed over to the ADA in March 2017. Each trainset is 36 meters long and can accommodate a maximum of 231 passengers. Trains are split into three classes – first, family, and single class – separated by glass partitions.[11]
Line Code Line Name Consortium[20] Formation & Number built EMU/Fleet Manufacturers
 1  Blue Line BACS 45 four-car trainsets (180 cars) Inspiro Siemens
 2  Red Line 29 two-car trainsets (58 cars)
 3  Orange Line ANM 47 two-car trainsets (94 cars) Innovia Metro 300 Bombardier/Alstom
 4  Yellow Line FAST 69 two-car trainsets (138 cars) Metropolis Alstom
 5  Green Line
 6  Purple Line

Operating Control Center

The project includes the construction of an advanced center for the control and operation of the train traffic management to monitor all elements of the system including stations, tracks, facilities, and systems.

The Monorail project will notably use the technology of an automated rail system (without driver). It will also allow the separation of the vehicles from the inside, and the allocation of special cars for families, in addition to providing them with communication services and the exchange of information for passengers.

Corruption allegations

In 2017, prince Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud was arrested as part of the 2017 Saudi Arabian purge. Part of the allegations against him, was that he, as Riyadh Governor, had awarded contracts for the Riyadh Metro to his own companies.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "Three bidders shortlisted for Riyadh Metro project". International Railway Journal. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Riyadh metro construction contracts awarded". Railway Gazette International. 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Groundbreaking ceremony launches construction of Riyadh metro". Railway Gazette International. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Infrastructure Projects". Nesma & Partners. Archived from the original on 17 August 2023. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  5. ^ a b "Riyadh metro project prequalification begins". Railway Gazette International. 18 May 2012.
  6. ^ "AVK fire hydrants in Riyadh Metro – AVK Group". www.avkvalves.com (in Danish). Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  7. ^ "الأمير فيصل بن بندر يرأس الاجتماع الـ 12 للجنة العليا للإشراف على تنفيذ مشروع الملك عبدالعزيز للنقل العام بمدينة الرياض | قطار الرياض".
  8. ^ "Riyadh metro mega-project to be fully operational by end of 2021 – The soft opening of the metro will be in 2019". The National. UAE. 8 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Riyadh Metro project more than 90%c completed". Zawya. 21 December 2021. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Saudi Arabia: Riyadh's Metro project to be completed by end of 2023". 3 March 2023.
  11. ^ a b "Alstom delivers first metro trainset to Riyadh". Zawya. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Saudi authority receives bids to name 10 Riyadh Metro stations". Construction Week Online. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d "Arriyadh Development Authority". www.ada.gov.sa. Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  14. ^ "Olaya Metro Station – Gerber Architekten". Gerber Architekten. Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  15. ^ "Riyadh Metro Western Station by Omrania". Architizer. 2018-11-19. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  16. ^ a b "First Riyadh metro trainset unveiled by Siemens". Railway Gazette International. 23 February 2016.
  17. ^ "INNOVIA Metro 300 – Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". Bombardier Transportation. Archived from the original on 2017-11-29.
  18. ^ Gupta, Akanksha (August 3, 2023). "Riyadh Metro, Saudi Arabia". Railway Technology. Verdict Media. Retrieved 17 August 2023.
  19. ^ "Alstom awarded a turnkey metro project by the city of Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". 29 July 2013.
  20. ^ RiyadhMetro. "Project Overview | Riyadh Metro". Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  21. ^ Saudi princes accused of bribery, embezzlement, money laundering: official, November 6, 2017, Reuters

External links

  • Official Website of High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh
  • Lines 1 and 2 website
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