Work started on $22.5bn Riyadh metro

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Saudi Arabia has begun construction work on its long awaited first metro rail system in Riyadh.

The multi-billion project will involve six rail lines extending 176 kilometers and carrying electric, driverless trains, in what Saudi officials project to be the world’s largest public transport system.

Prince Khalid Bin Bandar, the Riyadh emir, attended a groundbreaking ceremony in the capital on Thursday to mark the first day of construction work.

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“On this blessed day we witness the start of works on the grounds of the metro project,” said Prince Khalid Bin Bandar. “The phase of research and planning is over and now it is time for implementation.”

Saudi Arabia awarded $22.5bn in contracts to three foreign-led consortia for the design and construction of the system.

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