Other countries take 20 years to deliver what we are looking to accomplish in five years
With tunneling on the Doha Metro roughly 60 percent complete, some of the massive boring machines that have spent months underground are starting to surface.
Residents recently caught a glimpse one of the country’s 21 tunnel boring machines (TBM) at Qatar Rail’s Al Messila site, which is both a station location and logistics center located off Jassim bin Hamad Street near Al Rayyan Road.
Known as TBM S-846, or Al Rayyan TBM, the machine dug out more than four kilometers of the Doha Metro Green Line before achieving its final “breakthrough” at Msheireb central station, Qatar Rail said in a statement. The German-made machine is now being dismantled.
The Al Rayyan TBM is not the first to reach Msheireb. In June, Al Mayeda TBM broke through at Msheireb and was then transported by road to the Corniche station to start digging out the section of the Red Line towards the Doha Exhibition Center.
Earlier this year, Qatar Rail set a world record for the highest number of TBMs in operation at once.
While Al Rayyan TBM’s work may be done, more than a dozen others appear to be continuing to dig below Doha’s surface, according to an online map charting their progress.
In a recent speech to the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Qatar Rail Managing Director Abdullah Al Subaie said contractors had completed 67km out of the 113km needed for the first phase of the Doha Metro, according to a report in The Peninsula.
“Other countries take 20 years to deliver what we are looking to accomplish in five years,” he was quoted as saying.
Tunnelling is expected to wrap up next year as work shifts to laying tracks and installing various mechanical and electrical systems needed to run the mass-transit system. The 37-station network is expected to open to passengers in 2019 with four lines:
- The Red Line North, running from Lusail to Msheireb via West Bay;
- The Red Line South, running from Msheireb to Mesaieed, with a branch to Hamad International Airport;
- The Green Line, running from Al Rayyan Stadium to Msheireb via Education City; and
- The Gold Line, running from Villaggio Mall to the area around the old Doha International Airport, via Msheireb.
By 2021, residents and visitors are forecast to collectively take some 640,000 trips on the Doha Metro daily.
In another sign of progress, Qatar Rail has started the prequalification process for architectural subcontractors interested in working on station finishes, such as the roof and facade.