Case Study

Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro (Mecca Metro)

Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro (Mecca Metro)
Empatpuluh, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Published: 13 May 2011 Client name: CRCC Service provided: Independent Verification and Validation

In 2009, Ricardo (then, LRR) was appointed to provide Independent Verification and Validation services for a new four line system in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, known as Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro (Mecca Metro)

The scope of our work involved conducting a thorough review of safety documentation — safety cases, hazard logs and risk assessments focusing in particular on high-risk areas across the entire system, including rolling stock, station equipment, power supplies, signalling, track and depot maintenance equipment.

The scope also covered operational plans, procedures and rules for safe running of the metro.

The final IVV Report set out the key measures procedures and managerial systems etc. — that have been put in place to manage risks across the system.

We also managed evidence in support of the project’s Safety Case, including: hazard identification; safety and environmental policies; records management; legal requirements; documented roles, responsibilities and authorities; training commitments. This helped to assure compliance against safety related aspects of EN50126 (the Specification and Demonstration of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS).

It also outlined emergency preparedness such as accident reporting and investigation procedures.

In order to meet the project’s deadlines — with only 20 months between detailed design and the opening of Phase I — we assembled a team of key specialists from across our Asia and UK teams to work from our local bases in Dubai and Jeddah.

Transport for the annual pilgrimage

The pace of the metro’s rapid construction was, in part, driven by the need to reduce congestion during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, when around 3.5 million pilgrims visit the region. The system also provides year-round transportation services for local residents.

The first phase – the Pink Line – was a loop of four parallel lines between Mina and Arafat. Operations commenced in November 2010, initially using Automatic Train Protection and by mid-2011 the line was driverless but with an attendant on board.

Subsequent phases opened during 2011 by which time the system was carrying 72,000 passengers per hour, per direction, which would remove an estimated 50,000 buses from the city streets during the annual Hajj.

What is a Safety Case Report?

A key output was the IVV Report and resulting Certificate to provide assurance that the railway was safe to operate.

The final report collates all the “sub-system” Safety Case Reports and describes the various operations, hazards and risks. It then compiles a summary that sets out the measures - procedures and managerial systems etc - that have been put in place to manage risks across the system.

Also within the contents of the Safety Case Report are: hazard identification; safety and environmental policies; records management; legal requirements; documented roles, responsibilities and authorities; training commitments.

The Report also outlines emergency preparedness response such as accident reporting and investigation procedures.

It is important to note that these assurance activities were an independent review of safety of the railway with the objective of supporting the operator that the operation was As Low As Reasonably Practicable.

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