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City-News Archive

Riad/Riyadh [SA] - Opening of the New Campus of the King Saudbinaziz University

J. Lehmann - 06.05.13

On 23.04.2013, the official opening of the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences campus was held. The new trolley buses, which were dubbed "New Campus People Mover transportation service (Electrical TRAM)" on the invitations, first had to prove themselves during the afternoon opening. From 14:30 to 16:00 the service ran every 5 minutes from Station 9 (near the New Central Laboratory Building) and Station 10 (between the Health Affairs Administation Building and the Female College) to the "New Deanship building" (Station 6 ), where the opening ceremony took place. After the ceremony, the trolleybuses could also be used every 5 minutes in the opposite direction. A report on YouTube shows the new trolley buses in use (at 4:54 minutes).

The 4 km long route has 10 stations, which are each equipped with an air-conditioned waiting room for each direction. It begins on the new University campus site near to the new student halls of residence and leads -using some bridges- through the new campus grounds and then into the existing grounds of the Medical City, where a turning loop has been constructed in front of the Health Affairs Administation Building. Contrary to earlier planning, the whole route was not built on elevated roads, but only two bridges have been built viz across a public road and an access road. The 31,000 m2 depot is located approximately 300 meters east of the first station. According to the Campus-Webseite, the depot consists of a bypass road, a shed with three maintenance levels, a bus washing lane and a building for electro-mechanical servicing. Google Maps has put up new satellite photos, the route on the campus can easily be seen: marker B shows the depot east of the new campus site, and marker A marks the end point on the premises of the Medical City. .

There is a turning loop on the roundabout near station 1 and the depot; station 1 is equipped with repoling pans for vehicles running to and from the depot, the single line overhead length is about 9 km without any switches. The trip to the depot is run on diesel power.

The SICE-Group from Spain was appointed directly by the government of Saudi Arabia as the general contractor and constructed the installation. It also operates the service. They subcontracted ABB for the substations , which consist of three 13.8 kV AC/ 750V DC converters that are monitored fully electronically. Viseon provided the vehicles with electrical equipment from Vossloh Kiepe.

The twelve VISEON LT20 trolleybuses were delivered in November 2011. Since the roadway and bridge structures were still partially under construction (see photo of 12.12.2011 on the communications site of the university) the trolleybuses were placed in storage (see photos of 04.06.2012 und 26.06.2012 ). Trial running did not begin until autumn 2012. First training and adjustment runs were shown in photos on 19.11.2012 on the communications page of the university . Also interested students made passenger journeys on 24.11.2012 on the new means of transport.
As the vehicles are currently operating without problems, no staff from Vossloh Kiepe are currently on site, so there is no information about the current situation. An employee of Vossloh Kiepe makes trips back there at certain intervals to look after maintenance and examine operating data to investigate any abnormalities. Although the vehicles are equipped with online diagnosis, this data cannot be read from abroad for fear of espionage. Vossloh Kiepe therefore has no information on hand about the use of the trolleybuses.

Translation: Martin Wright

Photos: Press photo of ABB from their press release of 31/10/2012 (top)
and Vossloh Kiepe from their press release dated 02.05.2013 (below)