The Doha Metro Project will get ready by 2020, providing the residents a chance to ride trains that are among the fastest in the region. Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani visited the Doha Metro Economic Zone Station yesterday. During the visit, he observed progress at the site and also reviewed key achievements made by the company in 2017 as well as future plans.
Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti said Doha Metro Project, which is 73 percent complete now, will be fully operational by 2020. He said Qatar Rail has received 20 trains for the project. The work on the Red Line of the project is 93 percent complete, he added.
“We are on the track to deliver this new and paramount transport solution to the nation when the network becomes operational in 2020. The progress made and challenges overcome are a testament to the wise guidance of our judicious leadership, Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the close supervision of Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani made expectations not only being met, but exceeded,” said Al Sulaiti.
“The guidance of H H the Emir facilitated the progress of Qatar Rail projects which was translated into a key tangible achievement. From creating sufficient capacity at Hamad Port to handle the import of materials necessary for the successful completion of the projects to the relocation of the Building Automation & Control System (BACS) Centre for the Doha Metro Stations from Dubai to Doha, we can promise the nation that we are on track for a fully operational service by 2020,” he said.
During the visit, the Prime Minister and Interior Minister travelled on one of the new trains passing through the tunnels between Economic Zone and Oqba Ibn Nafea Station, passing along the viaduct to Al Wakra. The new fully driverless trains are amongst the fastest in the region, capable of speeds up to 100km/h, and will deliver a safe, reliable and fast commuter service for passengers.
“2017 has been a year of unprecedented success for the transport sector in Qatar. We have come leaps and bounds in laying the foundations for our connected nation and the Doha Metro project forms the fundamental backbone of the integrated public transport system supporting Qatar’s National Vision 2030. We look forward to further progress being made by Qatar Rail in 2018 as a vital contributor to the implementation of the key transport infrastructure project,” said the Minister of Transport and Communications.
The state-of-the-art Economic Zone Station is located at the intersection of F-Ring Road and the Al Wakra Road. The completed station will be able to accommodate up to 15,000 passengers per hour and will serve as the focal point and main transport hub for the Qatar Economic Zone in Ras Bu Fontas, close to Hamad International Airport. According to officials, 69 percent of the Lusail Tram project is complete. “The unprecedented challenges for Qatar Rail that were faced in 2017 have served only as a catalyst for adaptability and change,” said Eng Abdulla Al Subaie, Managing Director & CEO of Qatar Rail. Al Subaie added: ‘‘The resilience and will to succeed in the face of adversity was evident in every aspect of our operations. We have introduced a number of initiatives on the project management level which propelled us to succeed but indeed excel and deliver our best performance to date.
“We are proud of all the efforts of our staff and partners who together worked tirelessly to overcome these unexpected challenges. With renewed resolve, we look forward to accomplishing even more in 2018, working to turn the vision of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani into a reality.” Some of the ultra-modern features of the trains include digital media and signage, integrated journey planning, self-service machines ticketing, intelligent air-conditioning, and full Wi-Fi coverage across the entire network. Qatar Rail reacted very quickly and decisively to the blockade. The impact and risk caused by the blockade were identified and leadership moved rapidly to overcome these challenges, said officials. A task force was established to deal with blockade issues and Qatar Rail worked closely with its supply chain and all parties involved to overcome the immediate impacts and then identify and avoid risks before they impacted. Qatar Rail supported its supply chain by agreeing simplified procedures for customs clearance for shipments. Deliveries are being expedited and red tape reduced for the increased amount of sea-freight arriving in Doha. Qatar Rail secured shipping capacity on these key routes by entering into direct charters. Approximately 82,000 tons of building components were delivered to Qatar between 5 June and 31 November 2017. The project also saw increased use of airfreight for critical deliveries, and this was essential for the success of the pilot stations. In addition, a number of manufacturing and assembly activities were moved to Qatar. These included the fabrication of glass-fiber ceiling panels, assembly of control panels, manufacturing of structural steel, and others. This has reduced pressure on port, eliminated shipping risks, and also had the added benefit of developing local industry. Prompt and far-sighted action by Qatar Rail means that the impact of the blockade was absorbed. These challenges could have negative impact. Instead they have spurred greater efforts and resulted in increased self-sufficiency and resilience – as evidenced by Qatar Rail’s achievements in the last year and especially in the 7 months since the blockade began. This was achieved with the support of Qatar Rail’s highly capable project partners, including leading international and local contractors and consultants. Qatar Rail has set ambitious goals for 2018. All remaining MEP and architectural fit-out works for the Doha Metro will be completed this year, with overall Metro progress to reach 90 percent. This will see completion of the Red Line up to Al Qassar and the start of trial operations. Qatar Rail also looking forward to the arrival of the first batch of trains for the Lusail Tram, said officials. According to Qatar Rail, the design of the station is representative of the Doha Metro. Traditional Qatari themes and motifs are blended with modern architecture to achieve a look and feel with a uniquely Qatari aesthetic whilst also being safe, sustainable, functional and modern. Passengers travelling through Economic Zone Station will enjoy the very best in station design – wide internal spaces, natural lighting, and smooth passenger flows – all of which will contribute to a positive experience for the customer. Qatar Rail said, civil engineering works were all completed in 2017, and the focus has shifted onto mechanical, electrical and plant (MEP) works and architectural fit-out in stations. Progress of MEP works reached 56% and final MEP testing and commissioning has begun on the Red Line up to Al Qassar. Façade installation was completed in the elevated sections of the Red Line and internal fit-out is well progressed. The year also saw the completion of track-laying activities in the Depot, with both Section 1 (Red Line up to Al Qassar) and all of the elevated parts of Green Line completed. A total of 106km of track was laid in 2017. Rail in the depot and first sections of the mainline was energized and first sections of the Red Line are now operating for testing and commissioning. 25,000km endurance testing of trains was completed, as was medium voltage cabling for the first section of the mainline and depot. Platform screen doors, an essential safety feature of the system, also underwent endurance testing with more than 1 million cycles performed. The first four trains were delivered on August 19, 2017, ahead of schedule. This momentous occasion is a symbol of Qatar Rail’s resolve, and a sign to all of Qatar and the world that this project is progressing quickly despite all challenges. A further 16 trains have been delivered. Testing of trains began on schedule, and residents can see the trains running on the completed viaducts. Total labour in 2017 exceeded 73,000, with an increase of 23,000 workers compared to the year before, and the total number of man-hours worked exceeded 432 million. (Source)
Title image courtesy by Qatar Rail Facebook
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