Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), the company overseeing the construction of the country’s integrated railway network, said it has completed digging nearly 20 km of tunnels for the Doha Metro project, a landmark that clearly highlights the progress of the tunneling works underneath Doha city.
Qatar Rail, said it had already received the 21 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) assigned for the project, after being imported from Herrenknecht, the German world market leader in mechanized tunneling technology.
Most of Qatar Rail TBMs are currently operational, with expectations to successfully accomplish the tunneling phase by the second quarter of 2017, said senior officials at a press conference in Doha.
Announcing the metro work progress, Abdulla Abdulaziz Al Subaie, the managing director of Qatar Rail, said: "We have overcome many challenges to launch a successful tunneling phase at Doha Metro project. Our philosophy is to talk about what we have achieved, rather than share intangible promises."
"Today, we are pleased to announce the completion of nearly 20 km of tunnels out of 113 km; a development that we at Qatar Rail are proud of. Thanks to all workers and stakeholders contributing to the success of this national project in alignment with Qatar’s National vision 2030, the Doha Metro tunneling works are progressing as planned in adherence to global standards," he stated.
Al Subaie said keeping the residents and citizens' convenience in mind, Qatar Rail was keen to implement most of the metro project underground where TBMs interfere very little with the vibrant city life through advanced technology and eco-friendly mechanism.
The TBMs, he stated, are a key component in implementing the Doha Metro innovative project – a high-tech mechanized alternative to conventional methods of design-and-build mining, drilling and blasting tunnels through everything from soft ground to hard rocks.
They form circular tunnels through the rock, and can install concrete linings along the drilled sections to reinforce the bored tunnel and stabilize the ground, he added.
The Doha Metro’s Red Line has launched all tunnel-boring machines, which are Lebretha, Al Mayeda, Al Khor, Al Biddaa, Lehwaila, Al Wakra, Msheireb, Doha and Al Zubara. Tunneling works are progressing according to plan where the total stretch dug by these TBMs reached 11,880 m for both the northern and southern sections.
In parallel, the Green Line also launched its six TBMs with an accumulative tunneling of 6,653 m executed by Al Rayyan, Al Gharrafa, Al Messila, Al Sheehaniya, Leatooriya and Lijmailiya TBMs, while the tunneling drive recorded 150 m until now at the Gold Line, which has received its six tunnel-boring machines, namely Lusail, Sharq, Al Sadd, Al Waab, Al Sailiya and Ras bu Abboud (Airport City North).
Qatar Rail CEO Saad Ahmed Al Muhannadi said: "During the past year, we have achieved remarkable milestones on the Doha Metro and Lusail Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects, thanks to the joint efforts of the company and its contractors."
"Particularly, the tunneling phase for the Doha Metro was successfully launched as we achieved great records of 11,880 m of tunnel dug at the Red Line, 6,653 m at the Green Line and 150 m at the Gold Line. With skilled team and advanced machines, we were able to tackle obstacles and ensure works are moving forward," he added.