LANDBRIDGE PROJECT

A detailed rail project for very large-scale construction contracts alone, ranking amongst the biggest in the world.

Italferr has concluded a contract with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) for the extension of the detailed design of the so-called “Landbridge” rail project linking the Red Sea port of Jeddah to Al Jubail on the Arabian Sea and running in the newly planned route known as the "Blue Corridor". The line is about 1,300 km long and will mainly carry freight traffic across the breadth of the Arabian peninsula and linking the two seas on each side. The project arises from the previous contract, also signed with the PIF on 22 July 2013, for a line to Riyadh (958 km long) on a route known as the "Red Corridor". This new corridor, therefore, will consist of a Section 1, from km 0 to km 271 (part of the original Red Corridor), after which it will continue, with Section 2, to Al Jubail, from km 271 to km 1,300 (Blue Corridor).


Key features
1.300 km of new non-electrified double-track line, with provisions for future electrification.
Mixed traffic line with design speed of 350 km/h (electrified line) for passenger trains, and 160 km/h for freight trains.
Heavy “double stack” freight traffic (two containers loaded on the cars, one on top of the other) with an axial load of 32.4 tonnes (Standard GCC) and trains approx.. 4,000 m long.
Rail line interconnected with the existing line near Riyadh and Al Jubail.
4 passenger stations, of which the most important is the Jeddah interchange station with the high speed Mecca-Medina line under construction, for which a number of architectural and functional solutions have been studied and presented as models, during the meetings with the Client and the Local Authorities.
2 large “Dry Port” freight sorting areas at Jeddah and Riyadh, with the design of accommodation and leisure facilities for the personnel.

This extremely demanding project, due to its size (1,300 km), envisages no less than 15,000 deliverables (reports and drawings) for the various design stages, 620 geotechnical surveys, totalling 14,000 metres, and extensive Lidar-aided mapping, covering an area of 130,000 hectares.
The particularly difficult environmental conditions – in a desert with strong winds and high temperatures – have required the development of state-of-the-art studies and cutting-edge solutions. Among these, “Sand Mitigation” aims to ensure safe train operating conditions by reducing the presence of sand on the tracks and the effects of the wind (which can blow at speeds of up to 140 km/h), to prevent freight trains from overturning, by means of mitigating structures (barriers) and the study of special materials for the rail sub- and superstructure.