Brand Rex connects Saudi rail project

Backbone for Saudi Nortth-South Railway running over Brand Rex fibre optic cable

Tags: Binladin Contracting GroupBrand-Rex ( optic cableSaudi ArabiaThales
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Brand Rex connects Saudi rail project The new project will connect Riyadh with the Jordanian border. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  July 27, 2011

Saudi Arabia's new North-South Railway (NSR) line is being connected using Brand Rex fibre optic cabling.

The 2,000km long rail line, which connects Riyadh to the Jordanian border in the north, is supported by the largest ever single deployment of the European Train Control System (ETCS), which integrates telecommunications, security and advanced signalling for the railway.

To provide the backbone connectivity for the route, nearly 2,500km of Brand Rex 18, 24 and 36 fibre single mode cables is being rolled out, using high pressure compressed air blowing technology. The compressed air blowing technique allows the deployment of cable lengths up to 2km in one go, without the risk of friction damage associated with traditional cable pulling.

Paulo Silva, Thales Portugal's programme manager for the project, commented:v "We chose Brand-Rex after a thorough assessment and valuation of the fibre optic cable currently available on the market. As Brand-Rex is specialist in blown fibre technology, Thales decided that this would offer the maximum installation efficiency required.

"The distance from manhole to manhole is 2km and these lengths have been installed in one go. This is a challenge in itself, however, Brand-Rex has been tremendously supportive and has provided us with all the guidance and expertise we need to ensure successful implementation," he added.

Over 1,400km of fibre cable has been installed so far. Cables have been constructed using loose tube technology that gives the cables a high tensile strength and the ability to protect the fibre from the extreme desert environment.

The $2.8bn NSR project is due to launch full operations in 2013. The IT infrastructure, which is being deployed by Thales and Saudi Binladin Group includes a complete signalling system with ETCS level 2, telecommunications including GSM-R, security, fare collection system and voice and data communications.

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