Qatar Railways awards $32bn in contracts
Doha, December 11, 2013
Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), the firm overseeing the construction of the country’s integrated railway network, has awarded contracts worth more than $32 billion till now to speed up its integrated railways project, said a top official.
The company is leading three vital developments - the Doha Metro, which will link the capital’s inner and outer areas; the Long Distance Passenger and Freight Rail; and the Lusail Light Rail Transit, which will work in full integration to connect Qatar’s key areas with each other and with their vital extensions.
Speaking on the overall technical progress, Qatar Rail’s CEO Saad Al Muhannadi said the work on the Doha Metro projects was moving as per schedule, while the Lusail Light Rail Transit work had reached advanced stages.
The Doha Metro network will cover over 90 stations distributed among Red Line (coastal), Gold Line (history), Green Line (education), and Blue Line (city), which will also be connected to each other.
On the Lusail Light Rail Transit progress, Al Muhannadi said Qatar Rail had finalised the tunneling works and completed over 60 per cent of the structure for drilling works for its stations.
"Additionally, 50 per cent of the structure of the bridge overseeing Al Khor and the Lusail Light Rail Transit, which is slated to be officially delivered by 2017 has been set up," he added.
Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Turki Al Subaie, the managing director of Qatar Rail, said: “Significant investments have gone into Qatar’s transportation and shipping infrastructure, including the construction of the New Doha International Airport, the New Doha port, and several mega cities such as Lusail and Musheireb.”
“Additionally, the railway network project, estimated at $35 billion, entails plans to extend shipping railways by 325 km, and to connect Qatar’s rail networks to those of other GCC countries,” he noted.
Hamad El Bishri, deputy CEO and chief programme officer at Qatar Rail, said the project will be conducted in two stages: the first, scheduled to be completed in 2019, entails the setup of 37 stations and the second, encompassing over 56 stations, will be delivered by 2026.
“The metro lines will operate underground in areas located in the heart of Doha. Qatar Rail will employ advanced Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) using Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) technology for the tunnelling works for these underground operations, whereby a circular cutting ring will break into underground surfaces, creating cylinder cavities for the tunnels,” he explained.
“The debris of this process will then be transferred, through the tunnels, to a ‘dish,’ as the ring moves forward and cuts through underground concrete, supported by a hydraulic functioning system,” he added.
He said the company will also set up several control and monitoring post across the areas where underground drilling is to be done and take precautionary measures in the face of any unforeseen problems.
Explaining the Long Distance Passenger and Freight Rail project, Al Bishri said it will be in three different categories - a shuttle service for GCC transit travellers, transportation services for locals, and freight transport services for international and domestic routes.
The project will be executed over four phases – with plans to initiate the enabling works in 2015 and complete the fourth and final phase in 2030 and its network extended to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the New Doha Port, and Qatar’s Hamad International Airport.- TradeArabia News Service