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FIDIC awards SYSTRA a “Centenary Award” for the Mecca metro (Saudi Arabia)
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FIDIC awards SYSTRA a “Centenary Award” for the Mecca metro (Saudi Arabia)

Monday 30 September 2013 , by SYSTRA: consulting engineering firm in public/urban/railway transport - France & international

At its centenary annual congress in Barcelona on September 17th, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) awarded SYSTRA a “Centenary Award” in the category “major civil engineering project of the last 100 years” for the Mecca-Mashaaer metro project.
Monday 30 September 2013

This award recognized SYSTRA’s design work on this unique and highly unusual line that was built to transport the 3 million plus pilgrims that converge on Mecca over a seven day period every year for the Haj.

Facts & Figures


  • 18 km of viaduct
  • Nine 300 m long stations designed for crowd management which can handle 72 000 passengers / hour during pilgrimage week,
  • 1 fleet of 20 metro train-sets,
  • Optimised safety with uni-directional access ramps
  • Double doors and several different passenger counting systems to avoid overloading.

Total ridership: Designed for 72 000 passengers/hour, the metro managed crowds of around 90 000/hour. i.e. 3000 passengers per train, 3 train convoys every 6 minutes

Stakeholders: Owner: MOMRA - Ministry Of Municipality and Rural Affaires

Total cost of the project: $1.7 billion (US) i.e. $95 million (US) per km

Design and construction completed in a record time of 3 years: Phase 1: 2008 Engineering design, Production of tender documents (SYSTRA was lead consultant in a Consortium comprising K&A & Egis ) Phase 2: 2009-2010 At the same time, SYSTRA also completed:

  • Constructional designs for the viaduct and stations,
  • Constructional designs for track work,

In total, SYSTRA completed 14 000 studies within 14 months The line was commissioned in November 2010.

In addition, SYSTRA received an “award of merit” for verifying designs and supervising construction work on the Tianxingzhou Bridge (China). This 4 657 m highway-railway cable-stayed bridge holds the world record for the largest main span at 504m. The use of twin decks required dynamic calculations to determine the authorised loads and further in-depth studies were carried out to assess the impact of earthquakes, fire and wind-induced vibrations.