Qatar Rail announced that 30km of tunneling out of 113km for the Greater Doha Metro Rail project has been completed.
When Qatar Rail last reported progress in April, the figure was 18.5km. Entire tunneling work is expected to be over in 2017.
Some 21 tunnel boring machines are deployed for the project and are operational, Qatar Rail officials said.
Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail) overseeing construction of the integrated railway network, announced the breakthrough of one of Doha Metro tunnel boring machines (TBMs) at Msheireb station.
The breakthrough is the first at this main metro station, marking progress of the underground tunneling works.
The TBM named Al Mayeda, belonging to Doha Metro Red Line, was launched at Al Corniche station last November and achieved breakthrough yesterday, having dug 1.6km of tunnel.
It will be transported to Al Qassar station for work.
The breakthrough was subject to a few days’ delay at the end of its journey. Shortly before breakthrough, the machine encountered a water source which had to be dealt with properly and safely prior to its appearance into the open air in Msheireb.
Al Mayeda is one of 21 TBMs assigned for the project. All Qatar Rail TBMs are on track to complete tunneling by 2017.
Msheireb station, the flagship station which will be the central hub of Doha’s public transportation system, will be the major interchange for Red Line, Green Line and Gold Line. Excavation at Msheireb is about 40 meters below ground. Construction works are scheduled for completion by 2018.
Msheireb station is seeing important milestones in the delivery of its foundation works. According to Qatar Rail engineers, excavation is equivalent to the length of Burj Qatar, and the land area is equivalent to five football pitches. The excavated soil weighs 500,000 Toyota Land Cruisers.
Hamad Ibrahim Al Bishri, Deputy CEO, Qatar Rail, said: “During the past year, we have achieved significant developments on the project, thanks to efforts of the company and its contractors. While the excavation phase is making good progress at all stations under the supervision of our skilled team, we are happy to celebrate a new breakthrough at Msheireb. “Mining through ground layers that vary under highways and road facilities with a large-diameter TBM is a feat in itself. The short delay at the end shows how unpredictable our work can be sometimes and how important is our engineers’ skills and quality of planning. It is not always possible to know when these incidents might happen, but it is certain that they will occur at some point and we plan on this basis.”
So far, Qatar Rail has had over 70,000 lorry movements for excavation at Msheireb Station. Chris Haskell, Senior Project Manager, Msheireb Station, said: “If all trucks were lined up, the queue would stretch from Doha to Makkah. Each day, we de-water the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. When we put our project into such perspective, we realize the sheer scale of the project and how much we have accomplished up to now.”