NEOM Backbone Railway

57 KM rail line

230km/h passenger and freight line

The project

NEOM is a planned new business and leisure destination in Saudi Arabia. The NEOM Backbone Railway will provide regional and urban passenger transit and freight transport connecting the key regional areas and facilities such as The LINE linear city, OXAGON industrial city, airports and logistic transfer stations. SEMP was contracted in to NEOM Land Mobility (NLM) to provide Systems Engineering and System Assurance (SESA) services. The project is currently at the concept design phase.

  • Part of a futuristic eco-city development in a 26,500km2 region in northwest Saudi Arabia.
  • 57 km long passenger and freight line.
  • Designed for speeds up to 230 km/h.
  • Deployment of 27 specialized resources to meet project timelines.
  • Connecting key areas like The LINE linear city, OXAGON industrial city, airports, and logistics stations.

What we did

Scope of Services

Through discovery workshops with the client, SEMP identified significant risks to delivery of an integrated, safe, operable, maintainable and performing railway.

Our initial scope focussed on three priorities:
• Develop the Systems Engineering and Systems Assurance (SESA) approach for the programme
• Develop a set of owner’s requirements for the project; and
• De-risk the RFP packages due to be released to market.

To address these priorities, SEMP deployed 27 resources to meet the time critical schedule, working with NEOM Land Mobility and the Engineering Consultant with specialisations covering:
• Systems Engineering
• Systems Integration and Interfaces
• System Assurance
• Requirements Management
• Verifcation and Validation
• System Safety
• Performance Reliability Availability Maintainability (PRAM)
• Operations
• Human Factors and Ergonomics

Establishing the SESA Framework

The team developed the overarching framework for Systems Engineering and Systems Assurance for the programme consisting of the strategy and management plans for each of the specialist areas. The framework we designed provides NLM with the appropriate level of engineering assurance and governance without overly constraining the Delivery Organisation and supply chain. It recognises the interrelationships between the rail systems, other mobility modes and the wider NEOM enterprise, de􀄤ning accountability for integration at each level.

Developing the Owner’s Requirements

Our team defined the overall requirements framework across the client and Delivery Organisation, authoring the Requirements Management and V&V Management plans. Previously the client had been specifying lower-level design detail, overly constraining the design envelope and taking on the technical design risk. Working with stakeholders including the NEOM regions and sectors, we developed the high-level “outcome” requirements for the project, allocating to migration stages and apportioning to civil infrastructure, rail systems, and operations elements.

As the requirements were developed, conflicts were identified with the existing concept design and the SEMP team supported NLM and the Delivery Organisation in identifying and resolving gaps between the existing design and emerging requirements. To support the management of requirements we deployed our own cloud-based requirements platform, SEMPx, built specifically for infrastructure projects and eliminating the constraints of legacy software such as DOORS. This is the single point of truth for the requirements baseline and provides visibility across client and Delivery Partner organisations. The team are continuing to maintain the requirements baseline, controlling change and incorporating into the RFP packages.

To support the development of the requirements set we also performed the following activities: STUDY

• Operational analysis through Day in the Life of workshops
• Specification of Safety and RAM targets
• Development of initial Enterprise level hazard log.
• Enterprise-level system architecture and interface register
• Customer proposition and experience requirements.
• Defined acceptance criteria against requirements for the Delivery Organisation to perform design verification.

De-risking the RFP Packages

To provide assurance to the client, we performed specialist reviews of the systems RFP packages produced by the Delivery Organisation, prior to release to market. A number of fundamental issues were identified and we worked collaboratively with the delivery teams to improve the maturity and quality of the documents before their release to market. The team continue to provide system assurance support to NLM.