Photo Courtesy Fast Consortium


The first of many tunnel breakthroughs on the Saudi Arabian capital's new, six-line, 176-kilometer metro recently took place at the Salah Al-Din.

A TBM dubbed San'ah completed 1.2 km of tunnel on Line 5 since setting off in late June. The machine is one of three to be deployed for the Riyadh Metro by the FAST consortium on its $7-billion design-build contract covering Lines 4, 5 and 6 and extending nearly 65 km, with 40% below ground.

FAST is led by Spain's Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas S.A., Madrid, and includes major firms from South Korea, France, the Netherlands and the U.K. FAST secured its contract just over a year ago from the Arriyadh Development Authority, which also signed deals for the remaining lines. The biggest contract, then valued at around $10 billion, went to the BACS consortium, led by San Francisco-based Bechtel Inc. for Lines 1 and 2. Its first TBM, on Line 1, started boring this July.