Immediately after the contract for phase 2 entered into force on 15 September 2012, the different work stages in building the superstructure and systems got underway.
In Spain and on the ground in Saudi Arabia, the Spanish companies in the consortium deployed a organised working plan to carry out the jobs and services needed for the future signalling, electromechanical systems, telecommunications, commercialisations, subsystems, etc. Cobra, Abengoa Inabensa and OHLA were in charge of installing and managing the subsequent maintenance of the electromechanical systems on the line (catenary and substations), low tension lines, auxiliary detection systems, etc.; Siemens Rail Automation was in charge of installing and maintaining the railway signalling systems (ERTMS L2, train-detection equipment, activation of diversions, CTC, signalling, interlocks, etc.), as well as all the technical signalling buildings dotted along the line; and Indra was in charge of all the information and telecommunications systems, control centres, ticketing systems and security systems (access control, CCTV, fire detection, etc.).
The line between Makkah and Madinah was designed using parameters exclusively for passengers in high speed double-gauge standard tracks (1,435 mm), 2×25 kW electrification, and an ERTMS level 2 signalling system. Furthermore, it had to be appropriate for a commercial speed of 300 kilometres per hour and a maximum speed of 320 kilometres per hour.
To create it, 1,310,999 Al-04 sleepers were used to create the ballast track, 205,000 Rheda 2000 sleepers for the slab track, 4,100,000 tonnes of ballast, 4,450,000 metres of catenary cable for 15,000 posts, 1,910,000 metres of cable for signalling, 267,000 metres of high-tension cable, 2,300,000 metres of low-voltage feeder cable, 39 autotransformer centres, 6 substations (SSEE) and 1,900,900 metres of Fixed Telecom cable, in addition to being equipped with a security system that includes 1,500 CCTVs and a 147-bts GSM-R System.
Cobra, Abengoa Inabensa and OHLA were the companies in charge of installing the electrification systems in the entire superstructure (25 kW AC 60 Hz): supply and installation of the high-tension equipment (SSEE) (electrical traction substations, autotransformer centres with a tension of 25 kW at 60 Hz), supply and installation of the catenary, supply and installation of the equipment for medium and low tension to feed the signalling, train protection systems, telecommunications, centralised traffic control, etc., and supply of the cable detection and installation systems for signalling.
Given the Saudi railway’s need for a system for mass high-speed transit, the consortium’s initial proposal included a main signaling and railway interlocking whose technology has been widely proven and experimented.
The signalling work included the train detection systems (axel counters on the line and track circuits in depots), electrical activation for diversions, lateral signalling, interlocking and centralised traffic control. Siemens Rail Automation was the company within the consortium in charge of these projects.
The main signalling technology developed was the ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) Level 2 FUTUR 2500, its 20 it42 it42 21 RAIL 9000 centralised traffic control system, integrated in the operation and control centre.
The centralised traffic control was integrated into the operations control centre to ensure that the train would be operated in accordance with the traffic requirements. The combination of powerful centralised traffic control and a modern signalling system guarantees the traffic demands and ensures the passenger transport. The signalling system was designed to set aside additional capacity to deal with the most difficult traffic requirements beyond what was provided for in the project.
The operation control centres are equipped with the DaVinci train circulation management system, a railway management platform developed by Indra, implemented by Adif in all the Spanish high-speed train lines and adapted to the Haramain High Speed Railway by the Al Shoula consortium.
DaVinci enables trains to be safely operated in all phases, from circulation planning to tracking in real time. It facilitates automatic train routing along the route, conflict management and re-routing in the event of delays or incidents on the line.
The DaVinci tool is essentially the brains behind the railway operation which coordinates everything in a synchronised fashion in order to optimise the use of the railway infrastructure and fulfil the timetables. DaVinci makes requests for movements to the interlockings which guarantee safe circulation.