On track to the future
Written by Kate Lord Brown
Beneath the bustling streets of Doha, a remarkable feat of engineering is taking place.
A new world record has just been set in Qatar. It is hard to believe that below the busy roads of the city and suburbs there are currently the ‘Largest Number of Tunnel-Boring Machines Operating Simultaneously on a Single Project’ at work. Guinness World Records formally acknowledged the achievement of Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) and the impressive scale of its project to build the country’s integrated rail network. Engineer Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi, Qatar Rail’s CEO, said “We dedicate this achievement – that is a clear indication of the scale and importance of the Doha Metro project – to our team, as well as to the State of Qatar and all our stakeholders who have shared our vision and ambition.” There are 21 tunnel-boring machines at work beneath the city, beating the previous world record of 19. The technologically advanced machines imported from Germany will complete their phase of the project in 2017, and the first stage of the Doha Metro is set to open by the end of 2019.
It is a testament to Qatar Rail’s skill in managing one of the biggest rail projects in the world that, going about the city on a day-to-day basis, one notices little disruption in the city. Occasionally, all you will see is sleek billboards offering a tantalising glimpse of the future when Phase One of the Doha Metro will link key locations on the Gold, Green, and Red lines.
Phase One of the Gold Line will extend from Al Aziziyah in the west to Ras Bu Abboud near the east coast, connecting such landmarks as Souq Waqif and the new Qatar National Museum. The Green Line will run from Al Riffa via Education City and the Hamad Hospital to Al Mansoura. The Red Line connects the north and south, from Lusail to Al Wakrah, travelling through important locations including the Doha Convention Centre and Qatar University. This line will eventually travel from Al Khor to Mesaieed, and a branch of the Red Line also takes commuters to Hamad International Airport. Msheireb Station will be the central hub connecting the three lines, at the corner of Wadi Msheireb and Al Diwan streets. The station will become a landmark for residents and tourists, with an elegant and easily navigable concourse leading to the three Metro lines. The design of Doha Metro’s stations was selected in 2013. ‘Vaulted Spaces’ references both Islamic architecture and natural forms like the oyster shell, linking Doha’s history with its future.
It is hard to imagine London without its Underground, Paris without its Metro, or New York without its Subway, and just as each of these great cities underwent development, now it is Doha’s turn for unprecedented achievements in engineering.
As the country works towards its National Vision for 2030 and a diversified, pluralistic, and knowledge-based economy, the new transport system will play a vital part in the future economic, environmental, human, and social growth of Qatar.
For the latest news about the Doha Metro project and a glimpse of the future, visit Qatar Rail’s website. The photo galleries allow a sneak peek behind the hoardings to see the astonishing scale of the project underway in Doha, and there will soon be exclusive videos of the construction sites as they develop.
Qatar Airways, world’s 5-star airline, flies to more than 130 destinations worldwide.