Sep 09 2008
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German firm Deutsche Bahn to develop Qatar rail concept
A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed by investment company Qatari Diar and DB - the German national railway company - in Doha.
DB will develop the conceptual design and provide consultancy services for the plans, which are based on a multi-billion-dollar project cluster involving the establishment of an efficient local transport system in Doha as well as the development of international freight and passenger lines, including a possible high-speed rail link to Bahrain.
DB is not expected to make any financial contribution but will merely provide its expertise to help set up a competitive railway infrastructure. "This agreement clearly demonstrates the strength of our integrated group and the excellent reputation our railway know-how enjoys in other countries," said Dr Otto Wiesheu, a member of DB's board for economic and political affairs and Chairman of the supervisory board of DB International.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, is involved in the conception and establishment of the integrated transport concept and promised to ensure the best possible co-ordination and consolidation of a railway network with the systems that are already being planned. The rail system will provide links to neighbouring GCC countries. The planned Friendship Bridge between Qatar and Bahrain also includes a vision of a high-speed rail line besides road traffic.
Ghanim bin Saad Al Saad, CEO of Qatari Diar , said: "We are looking forward to working closely with Deutsche Bahn, one of the world's leading transportation and logistics companies, to integrate a state-of-the-art rail system for Qatar.
Martin Bay, Chairman of DB International and a representative of DB, said: "We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Qatari Diar on the integrated railway network and to prove once again our international experience.
"We are looking forward to carrying out this task, which clearly shows Qatar's vision and ambition."
A joint project group comprising 60 transport experts and planning engineers from DB International will draw up various planning options and track layouts for several different transport systems in co-operation with the Qatari partner.
The rail network is expected to comprise a passenger and freight railway linking the Ras Laffan industrial complex with the new port in Mesaieed via Doha.
It will also consist of a high-speed link between the new international airport and Doha city centre and across the planned causeway bridge to Manama in Bahrain. The Doha expressway, which will provide a freight rail link between Qatar and the border with Saudi Arabia, will also be part of the network.
Also in the plan is the Doha Metro Network, which will ultimately consist of six lines, with some running underground in the city centre.
People mover networks for the local transport sector, as described in the individual urban development plans, will also be considered. The findings from the planning phase will be completed early in 2009 and will be presented to Sheikh Hamad for review.
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