By Ramesh Mathew
“The first train would start running in the last quarter of 2019, as scheduled,” asserted Markus Demmler, senior director of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP).
Giving a presentation at a gathering hosted by the Qatar Society of Engineers yesterday, he explained that nearly 61.4% of the work is over in the 13.6km underground stretch of the Red Line from Lusail to Wakrah, and 66.5% of the work on the 8.9km Red Line South elevated route is now complete.
The Qatar Rail official exuded confidence that the company would be able to deliver a transport system of world standards for the country’s residents with the final launch of the ambitious project three years from now.
Work on the Lusail Light Rail Transit, comprising 32km of lines and 35 stations, is slightly behind the schedule with 44.8% of the overall work done so far.
“But we are very confident that the work would be ahead of the schedule shortly as it is fast catching up in different areas of the project,” Demmler said.
The current expectation is that Lusail LRT will become operational by 2020, at least two years before the 2022 FIFA World Cup opening and final matches are to be played in the iconic stadium to be built in Lusail city.
The Qatar Rail official also informed that they would be able to achieve the target set on the 486km Long Distance rail operations, connecting the country with Saudi Arabia.
Work on the project, to be built in five phases, comprising 11 stations, is expected to kick off shortly and the first phase would be operational in 2019 as per the current schedule.
As per the figures released by Demmler about Doha Metro in his presentation yesterday, 58.6% of the 19.1km Red Line South Underground, 55% of the 14.8 km Gold Line Ground Underground, 54.3% of the Msheireb Interchange stations, 59.4% of the 2.98km Greenline elevated, and 54.4% of 19km of the Greenline underground are already completed.
While 10 to 12m of boring is made at an average by a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), as many as 60m of tunnel was bored by a TBM on August 31, 2015, he recalled. Similarly, 20 TBMs together made 490m of tunnel on January 27 this year. Altogether 21 TBMs were at work.
It was also informed that the operations contracts of the project would be awarded in the second quarter of 2017 and architectural contracts were awarded in the last quarter of this year. Also the MEP work sub-contracts were awarded in the first quarter of this year.
The Qatar Rail official also released some figures concerning the logistics movement involved in the construction activities of the Metro so far.
While there were 466,290 movements in transporting 2.8mn sq m of concrete blocks for tunnel construction, earth from the excavation carried out in the sites of the two major Inter-change station sites in Msheireb involved as many as 620,000 truck movements.
Similarly for carrying the TBM muck, amounting to 6.6mn tonnes, close to 666,000 truck movements were reported.
The simultaneous average availability of TBMs at its peak was close to 97%.
A full-fledged Logistics Traffic Co-ordination Centre monitored the entire movement of trucks, Demmler said. Earlier, Qatar Society of Engineers secretary general Ibrahim Mohamed al-Sulaiti introduced the speaker.
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