Doha Metro, Qatar
Doha Metro in Qatar's capital city will be one of the most advanced rail transit systems in the world when it becomes operational in 2016.
The emirate had originally planned the metro in 2007, in a bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Doha. Though the International Olympic Committee chose Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Doha still proceeded with the project in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, for which it won the bid in 2010.
With road travel being an extensive mode of transport, Qatar has a well-developed road network with a highway system and expressways. The public transport that does exist is mainly provided by Mowasalat, a state-owned integrated ground transportation company.
The objective of the Transport Master Plan for Qatar is to develop attractive, efficient and reliable public transport in the country. The requirements led for the proposal of a comprehensive railway network for future development in the Greater Doha area and in the state on the whole.
The rail transit system is part of the Qatar Government's €130bn diversification and modernisation strategy involving public and private investments. The campaign also aims to reduce its dependency on natural gas exports.
Contracts for the first phase of the project were awarded in August 2012, with the ground breaking ceremony taking place on 10 October 2012. Work has started on Msheireb interchange station, which will serve as the hub for the metro's operations.
Doha Metro is part of the larger railway network. The wide network design consists of five modern and flexible railway systems integrated across the Persian Gulf. They include the development of passenger and freight rail transport systems, along with fast rail links to the international airport based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) feasibility study.
The master plan involves development of metro railway system in Qatar and long-distance and freight lines connecting the emirate with the rest of the GCC. Currently in the planning stage, the GCC network will connect the six member states: Oman, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, with an estimated 1,940km rail network.
In August 2008 Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment, the national development agency, appointed the German national railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) to produce plans for a railway network in the country. DB International (DBI), the international wing of Deutsche Bahn, and Qatari Diar prepared conceptual designs for a consolidated railway network development in Qatar.
Qatari Diar and DB signed an agreement in November 2009 to form a joint venture, Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC), for implementing, developing and managing the concept design of the railway plan on the Persian Gulf. Qatari Diar holds 51% and DBI owned 49% shares in the joint venture (JV) company.
In 2011, however, Qatar Railways Company purchased the shares held by DBI in the JV and became the sole owner of QRDC. The project is now being executed directly by RAIL instead of QRDC, with support from DB International.
The Doha metro network is estimated to cost $36bn. The metro network, to be built in phases, will be one of the most modern railway networks in the world. It will have four lines, namely the Red, Green, Gold and Blue metro lines, with an overall length of 300km and 98 stations..Bids for the lines were submitted in 2012 and early 2013.
Phase 1 of the project includes construction of the Red Line North, Red Line South, Green Line and two major stations. Construction of this phase, underway since 2013, is expected to be completed in October 2019, three years ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Contractors involved with the project
Project management and consulting engineering contract for the Red line was awarded to Jacobs Engineering in 2012, while a similar contract for the Gold Line and the main stations was awarded to a team comprised Louis Berger and Egis Rail. Hill International was contracted to manage the Green Line. The total value of these three contracts is estimated at $313.16m.
A QR55m ($15.1m) safety assessment contract was awarded to Lloyd's Register in the same year.
A consortium led by Italian construction giant Impregilo and including South Korea's S K Engineering & Construction and Qatar's Galfar Engineering & Contracting was awarded a $2bn design contract for the Red Line North in April 2013. The consortium will design and construct 13km of twin-bore tunnel and seven underground stations starting from Msheireb station.
In June 2013, Qatar Rail awarded the $1.82bn Red Line South design-build contract to the consortium led by QDVC, a joint venture between Qatari Diar and France's Vinci Construction Grands Projects. The consortium, which includes South Korea's GS Engineering and Construction and Qatar's Al-Darwish Engineering, will design and construct a 13.8km dual-tube underground line between Msheireb Station and the New Doha International Airport, as part of the contract.
A consortium of Austrian contracting firm Porr, Saudi Binladin and HBK Contracting Company was awarded a $2.5bn contract in June 2013 for the design and construction of the Green Line between Msheireb and Al Rayyan Stadium.
A consortium of Samsung C&T, Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) and Qatar Building Company (QBC) won a $1.4bn contract in the same month to build Doha metro's two major stations in Msheireb and Education City.
In March 2014, FCC-led consortium, including Archirodon (Greece), Yüksel (Turkey) and Petroserv (Qatar), signed a $700m contract to build a 6.97km section of the Red Line along with three elevated stations. A consortium led by Greek firm Ellaktor, alongside Yapi Merkezi and STFA from Turkey, India's Larsen & Toubro and Qatari company Al Jaber Engineering, was awarded a $3.3bn contract for the design and construction of the Gold Line in April 2014.
In the same month, the SYSTRA-Parsons joint venture was awarded a €170m project management and work supervision contract for Phase I of the Doha metro.
Atkins has been appointed as lead designer for the Gold Line and Red South Underground lines.
In September 2014, UNStudio was appointed as the principal architect for the Qatar Integrated Railway Project by Qatar Rail and will design more than 30 stations in Phase 1 of the Doha Metro project. Rolling stock contract for the metro project is expected to be awarded in 2015.
The four lines of Doha metro will link all the major locations of the city such as the Education City and West Bay, Lusail urban development area, Doha airport, the business and conference centre, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums. The railway lines and infrastructure will be through tunnels, overhead railways and at the ground level.
Qatar Rail will build an east coast rail link between Ras Laffan and Mesaieed and a 180km high-speed link from Doha to Bahrain across the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway on which trains will have a speed of 350km/h.
Other projects include a 325km freight line, 270km of which will be used for passenger services, connected to the planned GCC rail network; a light rail network serving residential developments, a 100km long-distance rail transport line to Saudi Arabia with trains having speeds of up to 200km/h and the Doha metro network.