Qatar will be “unrecognisable” by 2019 when most of the infrastructure development projects, including the ambitious rail network now being built, will be completed, a seminar was told yesterday.
Up to 25,000 people will be working on the railway project as the construction peaks for a scheduled first phase opening by 2019 and a second phase finish by 2026.
A Qatar Rail official said a substantial portion of the rail network is expected to be ready by 2019, well before the FIFA World Cup that Doha is hosting in 2022. The light rail transit is expected to be completed by 2017.
Qatar Rail is seeking to develop a world-class public transportation system which will provide a competitive alternative to private transport at a cost of about $40bn.
When completed, the project will comprise a Doha Metro mass transit, a long-distance passenger and freight rail and a light rail linking Lusail and West Bay. Construction of the rail project began early this year.
“We are already in talks with the Ministry of Interior for procuring the visas for the large number of workforce that would be needed for the various rail projects and the choice of nationalities will be dependent on the contractors who we would be awarding the contracts ,” Qatar Rail chief technical officer Daniel Leckel said .
He was making a presentation at a session on “The future of Qatar transport and infrastructure” at a one-day seminar hosted by Qatar University’s College of Engineering-based Qatar Road Safety Studies Centre (QRSSC) in collaboration with the Central Planning Office (CPO) at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning (MMAUP).
“We are in the final stage of architectural branding approval and we have already started awarding contracts. Within the next couple of weeks, we will start signing contracts with the main designing and building contractors,” he said.
The official mentioned that by next year, Qatar Rail would begin to place contracts for operation and maintenance, which is expected to start by 2015 and the testing and commissioning will be done by 2017 while the service is expected to begin by 2019, if everything goes according to plan.
Leckel said that Qatar Rail had spoken to the MMAUP for the easy acquisition of raw materials needed for the construction of the metro, which is estimated to be 800,000 tonnes of steel (equivalent to 100 times more needed for the construction of the Eiffel Tower); some 17,000,000 cubic metres of excavation (7x done to build an Egyptian pyramid); and some 5,000,000 cubic metres of concrete (14x used to build Burj Khalifa).
During his presentation, Leckel explained the plans to provide Qatar with integrated railway services that are reliable, attractive and safe with continual commitment to excellence and sustainability.
Some of the key challenges of the projects, according to Leckel, include keeping the Doha traffic moving while the construction takes place and importing the raw materials.
“By 2018 you won’t recognise Qatar as it will be a completely different place to live in – there will be no traffic jams and there will be a good standard of living.
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