The three vital projects that Qatar Rail is implementing will enormously boost the public transport connectivity across the country and even beyond its borders in coming years, CEO Saad Ahmed al-Mohannadi said.
“The Doha Metro, the Long Distance Passengers and Freight Rail and Lusail Light Rail Transport will give immense and speedy connectivity to the public to access areas like Lusail City, Hamad International Airport, Education City and West Bay locations in about six years from now, without getting caught in traffic snarls,” he explained.
Qatar, he said, was committed to put in place a public transport infrastructure, incomparable with anywhere in the region and the new developments, he hoped, would help ease the congestion experienced on the country’s roads these days.
While expressing confidence that the implementation of the railway infrastructure would ease help decongest the city roads, the CEO felt it would also help attract a large segment of the population to the public transport. “Eventually the new developments in the public transport movement will give a major facelift to the capital.”
Highlighting that the Qatar Rail was supporting the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030, the official said the remarkably good funding from the government would give a good push to the much-awaited project.
“In less than six months since the signing of the first contract in May this year, projects worth QR30bn have been awarded as part of the Doha Metro work.” said al-Mohannadi.
The official said that works were already underway in 20 out of the 25 underground stations and excavations in many areas had gone 5m or more.
The Doha Metro is about 230km long and the first stage is expected to be completed in 2019. The speed of the trains will be about 80 km/hour inside the city.
The Lusail Light Rail Transit, al-Mohannadi said, had almost completed the tunneling work and the structures of the stations were beyond the half-way mark.
The nearly 510km-long distance rail network, subjected to the commercial assessment by the project’s technical consultants, is expected to have a speed of between 220km and 350km per hour for passenger trains and 120km per hour for the movement of freight.
The Qatar Rail CEO said that a number of tenders would be awarded in the next two years and this would include the civil work for the Doha Metro lines, including the elevated and grade lanes.
The tenders for the systems and locomotives of both the Metro and Lusail projects and that of the first phase of the long-distance passenger and freight rail would also be awarded during the next two years, he said.
Doha port capacity being expanded
The Transport Ministry has started developing the old Doha port to increase its capacity to between 700,000 to 800,000 containers a year, with a possibility to increase to 1mn containers eventually. The Qatar News Agency (QNA) quoted HE the Minister of Transport Jassim bin Saif al-Sulaiti as saying that the projected capacity exceeded the country’s current needs but it would be “a good solution to meet future demand”.
He stressed that Qatar had invested in transport systems in order to improve service standards, pointing out that the ministry was working on developing a plan aiming at raising awareness on the importance of public transport. The ministry, he said, had been working with experts from Qatar University and Qatar Foundation universities to formulate the plan.