Case Study – O&M Consultancy Service for First Metro in KSA

O&M Consultancy Service for First Metro in KSA


In 2009, Vision Skill awarded an agreement to advise a Chinese railway constructor / operator on the operation and maintenance of a new Metro System which was being constructed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). As the kingdom’s first Holy Metro, the metro will benefit Muslims in their performance of Hajj, thus make a significant contribution to the Muslim community worldwide.



The Project team assembled to deliver this consultancy was made up from members of Vision Skill Consulting Ltd and a major UK operations services company. The team assisted the Chinese client in developing all areas of Operations & Maintenance for the metro. This included developing rules, procedures, work instructions, safety management systems, quality systems, the railway safety case, competence management systems, the training curriculum with the associated training materials and recruitment.


Vision Skill also took part in managing the design, procurement and the installation of 20,000 signs inside the stations and along the railway alignment. O&M organisation and core team uniforms were designed and procured, more than 400,000 wristbands and brochures were designed and procured for Hajj Pilgrims.


Vision Skill also assisted the client to recruit more than 5,000 staff each year. Over 30,000 trainee man-days were delivered including classroom and practical training. An e-learning system was developed and used as a valuable training aid; this platform facilitated learning anytime and anywhere, covering topics such as metro systems, communications protocol, rules and procedures, safety and cross cultural awareness.


During the period leading up to the launch of service the team also advised and observed Trial Operations and developed the test cases to enable staff and emergency services to be proved competent. Test case managers, observers and assessors were trained to deliver such important tasks.


The metro has been successfully operated in its full capacity by transporting over 72,000 passengers per hour per direction, which is one of the highest patronage capacities for metro operation around the world in 2011. In just 7 days, it is estimated that over three million passengers trips were carried between the holy sites Arafat, Muzdalifah, Mina areas. This success is achieved through the reliable systems designed and delivered by the system suppliers and the dedication of staff in managing the system and crowd control.


The government authority had also appointed VSC to design, develop and implement a Pilgrim Management System for Hajj 1432 to maximise the utilisation of the metro in order to carry as many pilgrims as possible in a safe and effective manner in 2013. VSC had made another breakthrough in designing a Pilgrim Management system making use of GPS linked tracking system to track the movement of pilgrims from their camp site to the stations. VSC in 2016 partnered with CSC to develop a similar system but used the latest Application technology for tracking the movement of the Pilgrim Group Leaders.


VSC was awarded the training and operation support services contract from the Operator in the following years up to 2017.