Saudi mega project NEOM has appointed French construction engineering and mobility consultancy Egis, its subsidiary AuditSafe, and Certifer to act as the Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) for the railway system in THE LINE and the NEOM Industrial City Connector (NICC).

The NICC will comprise of several individual lines: high speed rail lines, freight rail lines, Metro/GMT rail lines, depot rail lines and platform loops, Egis said in a press statement.

THE LINE, announced in January 2021, is a linear urban development of hyperconnected communities with walkable neighbourhoods, powered by 100 percent by renewable energy.

Egis said the transport system will be located at the physical and digital infrastructure layer beneath the ground of THE LINE, and will weave 5G, fibre, satellite, and wireless solutions throughout the communities of the urban development. High-speed transport links will allow residents to reach any part of THE LINE within 20-minutes.

The scope of work for the consortium is to act as an ISA at the overall system-wide level for THE LINE and NICC as required by NEOM and includes all necessary assessment tasks to obtain the required licenses in order to achieve permission for the systems to operate with passengers and carry revenue freight, according to the press statement.

In addition, the independent safety assessment shall assess that the safety organisation and its responsibilities have been clearly identified and implemented, the design requirements have been validated and verified, the hazard management processes are suitable, risks have been reduced to the lowest level and residual hazards have been addressed through appropriate mitigations.

THE LINE, which is 200 meters wide, 170 kilometres long and 500 meters high, will eventually accommodate 9 million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 square kilometres, according to past presss statements from NEOM.