In the heart of NEOM, a groundbreaking project is reshaping the landscape—the construction of "The Spine." This ambitious infrastructure corridor is not just a railway; it's a lifeline connecting The Line development to Oxagon, NEOM's industrial hub. As we embark on this journey through steel and concrete, let's delve into the intricacies that make "The Spine" a marvel in railway construction and tunnelling.
A $500 billion linear city, stretching 170km in length and a mere 200m in width—the ambitious venture known as The Line. This wall-like city, destined to be home to 9 million people, spans from the Red Sea coast to the interior of the country. The foundations for the initial $329 billion phase commenced earlier this year, marking the beginning of a colossal undertaking.
In a significant stride towards completion, a joint venture between Italy-based Webuild and Riyadh-headquartered Shibh al-Jazira Contracting secured a $1.5 billion contract for the construction of Connector South. This 75-kilometre railway line boasts 14 viaducts, seven roads, nine rail underpasses, and 152 culverts, forming the lifeline of The Spine.
The infrastructure corridor meanders south from The Line, passing through Neom City Station, Neom Bay Mansions, Neom Bay Airport, and culminating at Oxagon. The joint venture agreement is a testament to collaboration, with Webuild and Sajco sharing responsibilities for civil works, high-speed, and freight railway tracks.
As we burrow into the details, Neom beckons contractors to undertake the challenging task of completing tunnels for the Delta Junction—the connecting point between The Spine and the Neom Connector. With 26.5km of tunnelling work split into two lots, this project signifies a monumental effort in the realm of railway construction.
On June 14, 2022, NEOM awarded drill and blast tunneling contracts to FCC-CSCEC-SAJCO JV and SHAJV, two joint ventures ready to make history. These contracts, divided by lower and upper geographies, encompass over 28 kilometers of tunnels, dedicated to high-speed and freight rail services.
NEOM isn't just constructing a railway; it's crafting a sustainable future. The excavated rock from the tunnels isn't discarded; it's processed for reuse in the permanent concrete lining, ensuring minimal impact on natural landscapes. This commitment reflects NEOM's dedication to addressing global challenges through innovation and sustainable practices.
As we conclude this journey through "The Spine" project, it's evident that NEOM is not merely laying tracks but sculpting the future. The integration of high-speed and freight rail systems, coupled with sustainable practices, positions The Spine as a benchmark in modern infrastructure. With each tunnel, viaduct, and rail underpass, Neom's vision becomes a reality—making the movement of people and goods faster, safer, and more efficient. The world watches as NEOM pioneers solutions and breaks ground in the realm of transportation and utility infrastructure projects.