Doha Metro a huge tunneling endeavour: Qatar Rail

Programme to employ four times the machines on London's Crossrail

Msheireb metro station will use more concrete and steel underground than in the entire Burj Khalifa.
Msheireb metro station will use more concrete and steel underground than in the entire Burj Khalifa.

A Qatar Rail spokeperson has detailed the unprecedented scale of the tunneling operation on the Doha Metro, and the resources required to complete the programme by 2019, according to Gulf Times.

In a presentation at the World Stadium Congress, Qatar Rail commercial manager Stephen Lines, said that population and existing businesses are two of the main criteria for the location of the 48 stations.

“These will all be linked by the network and obviously linking the stadiums, so all these factors are being considered on the design of the network,” he said. “I can see Qatar becoming like London where you have the suburbs and the home county that you like.”

To accomplish this in time for phase 1 delivery, he disclosed that some 26 tunnel-boring machines will be used for the said project. “If you put that in context at the moment, the new system being used in London has six boring machines. We are talking about 26.”

The 26 tunnel-boring machines are expected to excavate 17 million m3 of soil, and the Msheireb station alone will use more concrete and steel than the Burj Khalifa. “The only difference is that it will be underground,” he noted.

Lines, who is also the Middle East president for the Chartered Institute of Building, added that for the 400km long-haul and rail freight network a further seven stations and six freight yards will be built.

“The freight system will be the first to be implemented, a key in bringing in the materials and to help keep the flow within Qatar to achieve the 2022 World Cup and beyond,” he stressed. “We see the Qatar Rail as a legacy. The legacy runs way beyond the FIFA World Cup.”

He also expressed confidence that all the projects will be delivered on time, noting: “Track work which will link through the systems is the rolling stock packages, and will be well underway first quarter 2014.”

He reiterated the importance of testing and commissioning, and achieving international standards first before getting the green light. For works above ground the next step is approval of the designs and awarding of contracts since most of the land acquisitions have been finished.

“More work is to be done – elevated and upgrade packages to be finalised and put out the tender - but the project management consultants are appointed in our own board for the main metro projects and we are very close in finalising the appointment of contractors,” he said.

“For sustainable future, the Qatar government has some pretty investment plans on how they can achieve it. In the future, who knows, we could have the first solar-driven train,” said Lines, adding that construction of the system will also pave the way for the drafting of the Qatar Railway Law.


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