43.2 C
Doha
Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Qatar Rail: Doha Metro 16% complete

-

Excavation and construction work for Qatar’s three main rail projects will be in full swing next year, as the deadlines for completion loom closer.

The country is building three main public transportation links: the Doha Metro, Lusail light-rail project and a high-speed, long-distance line.

Yesterday, a senior Qatar Rail official said work on the Doha Metro – which is due to open to passengers in 2019 – is 16 percent completed. That includes 40 percent of the excavation works for 38 stations, Qatar Rail’s Managing Director Abdulla Abdulaziz al-Subaie is quoted by Gulf Times as saying yesterday at Ahmed Bin Mohammed Military College.

Separately, al-Subaie echoed a commitment made at last week’s GCC summit to have a regional rail line running by 2018. He said work will also start next year on Qatar’s section of the transportation network, although Qatar Rail reportedly had still not issued construction tenders as of early last month.

Qatar will initially construct 148km of freight and passenger lines running up from the Saudi Arabian border. Once complete, the rail route is slated to run some 2,117km and link Kuwait City with Muscat through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE at a cost of US$15.4 billion.

Lusail’s light rail system, which will install at least 32 passenger stations across a network stretching more than 30km, is also still on track to meet its 2018 deadline, Al Subaie said, adding that 8km of underground tunnels had already been dug out and 7km of electrical and mechanical works were complete.

Passengers will be able to transfer from Lusail’s light-rail line to the metro, which will travel on the surface before descending underground towards West Bay.

Digging out

Tunnel Boring MachineThe Doha Metro requires extensive tunneling beneath the surface. All 21 of the custom-made tunnel-boring machines needed to dig below the surface to create stations and tracks, will be deployed during 2015,

The first of the customized tunnel-boring machine needed to dig underground for the stations and tracks arrived in Qatar in April of this year. Specially manufactured by Germany-based Herrenknecht, the next four arrived two months later.

The machines will be used to cut holes 20 meters beneath the city’s ground for all the lines. Qatar Rail previously said:

“Each TBM will travel a distance of between 7-9 km and will take approx. 2 years to complete their respective journeys. The TBM average speed will be between 12m/day to 21m/day, depending on ground conditions. Daily excavation quantity will be over 600m³, with an estimated predicted total excavation quantity of over 5,000,000m³.”

Originally, officials warned residents that they may feel some minor vibrations as all 21 of the machines got to work next year. However, in June, they back-tracked, saying the tunneling would be “practically unknown to the population above.”

Change attitudes

Officials hope that the installation of a public transport system will take the pressure off Qatar’s crowded road network, which is struggling to accommodate the thousands of new cars which join it each year.

Admitting that Qatar’s road infrastructure was nearing capacity, Al Subaie warned that a “mindset and attitude shift” was needed in the state to encourage people to leave their cars at home and take the train to work.

“When the Metro has been built and put into place, we need a mindset and attitude shift from the current transport scene backed by private cars to Metro.

“At the end, it is not sustainable that everyone has their own car and we have to be very conscious towards the economic and social productivity and environmental protection of the state,” Al Subaie said in an address to military students.

However, he reiterated his warning that residents and visitors should not expect park and ride facilities at each of the stations and said that feeder buses would be provided to transport people around town to their station.

In an interview in October this year with local business magazine The Edge, Al Subaie was quoted as saying:

“In the future, you may not always be able to park your car just near to the place you would like to see … We are trying to minimize the number of cars entering the city from outskirts of Doha. So we don’t want, for example, someone to come into the city and park inside the city.”

Thoughts?

18 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

hay if its organised well id be happy to ride it on weekends

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago

I don’t think a major “attitude shift” will be needed for most of the foreigners, as many come from locales where public transit is the norm, easy to use, and affordable. I think a lot of the expats will rejoice at more public transit options, as long as they are safe and reliable (none of the current options are).

I wonder if when the metro is finished if the government will start to be more restrictive of who can get a driver’s license, essentially forcing the groups of people that they want to use public transit into the metro.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

I agree, I personally would just love to use public transport and read a book on my daily commute instead of having to negotiate the crazy traffic and driving.

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

It should be made extremely difficult to get a driver’s license, both in terms of cost, skill and time required. This can be progressively introduced as the MT systems come online.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

I completely agree. The “me first” attitudes and lack of enforcement make the roads in Qatar dangerous enough. But there are a lot of unqualified drivers out there as well, both locals and expats, which only adds to the danger. I was amazed to see a local dad bully the workers to get his son through the test at the driving school and walk out with a license despite running over several cones during the test. But then I was also amazed by the wildly inconsistent information given regarding the driving laws by different people at the school. During my road test I met several who it was their first drivers license in their lives, and they were on their second or third attempt at the road test. The difficulty of the test and evaluation also seemed to depend on the testee’s nationality. That shocked me as a new resident, but I now understand that racism is the norm in Qatar. The whole system sucks, so effectively qualified drivers is a bit of a pipe dream at this point. Public transit is sorely needed, but, like is mentioned quite often on DN news comment boards, an overhaul of the entire traffic system is also needed (but probably will never happen). In the meantime, the roads remain crowded, and the knuckles on the steering wheels of Qatar remain white.

DEEM
DEEM
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

People will only use it if using their car ceases to be cost effective (time being a cost). If they can make it to work in 20 minutes, day in day out, for a few rial per journey, instead of an hour in the car… they will use it. In the UK most major cities have dis-incentives to taking a private vehicle into the city…. but the killer will be the proximity of a station to both home and work… more than 500 meters… they’ll take the care regardless of cost. And that applies to nationals and ex-pats alike.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  DEEM

You’re right about the proximity factor, which was addressed in the article, but unfortunately not in a way that gives me confidence in the planning. If they don’t build parking lots at the stations in the outlying areas they’re just asking for trouble and the system will be severally underutilized (but planning isn’t exactly one if Qatar’s strong suits). In the UK you generally can walk to the nearest underground without being reduced to a ball of sweat, but not in Qatar nine months out of the year.

Joe
Joe
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

The problem is that these parking lots you speak of will have to be colossal. There are near a million cars on the road here, and it is unrealistic to build even half a million parking spots for all these people. I think it’s more cost-effective to spend the money on logistic experts from anywhere, or the UK if you’d really like, to build a proper and coherent bus network to have transport from home to the metro station.

Look at dubai – they don’t have parking facilities in most metro stations. Yet the trains are all jam-packed.

disqus-eyrhws
disqus-eyrhws
6 years ago

I think that the figures may have been inflated by either the contractors seeking payment of claims or by QR itself. An underground rail network 16% completed when none of the tunnelling machines have even been deployed seems very optimist. Not to mention all the ancillary work that will need to be done once the tunnelling is complete; utility services, tracks, train procurment, station construction; testing etc.. etc.. etc..

Restie
Restie
6 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

8km of tunneling has been completed and 7km of elec/mech works have been completed.

Please read the article, rather than just the headlines.

disqus-eyrhws
disqus-eyrhws
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

Your right. I look forward to the project being completed on time and within budget

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  disqus-eyrhws

Nice comeback.

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Restie

And another 6 guest who only come on Dohanews to read headlines and comments Votes up #disqus-eyrhws comment. I really don’t understand how lazy people come on this page or dohanews Facebook wall, read headline and then write comment like they know it all. its really shameful and stomach-churning.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Qatar badly needs this, but I’m not optimistic on the completion dates, overland rail is one thing but tunnelling brings all sorts of problems, some of which are hard to predict. Qatar’s record on project management is also poor.

I’m looking forward to seeing this and using it but I may not be here when it is finally finished.

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

hahahah! MIMH, i agree u may not be here because some of your comments here are stomach-turning to many people. However, i always enjoy reading you right here and i once commented (joke) that Dohanews should pay u salary.LOL

Expat77
Expat77
6 years ago

Doha Metro is an excellent plan if things work out as expected. Problem is time and cost management. Lack of job mobility restricts best of talents being at the forefront of such projects.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

It is not going to happen fast enough. Highly skilled expats are leaving already due to traffic and school problems. The solution is dedicated Q-Lanes. Let the Qataris and public transport have right of way and things will start moving.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

I can almost see the news: “Group of pathans were caught when trying to sell 6 km of rail to a filistini scrap yard owner. They used Lulu trolleys to transport the goods”.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.