Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
- Five design-build tunnel packages are among the 15 to be rolled out for the first phase of construction of Doha's four-line metro, in time for the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar.
Fig 1. Plan of Doha's ambitious metro
- The metro will be 358km long when complete in 2026. Phase 1, which includes the north-south Red Line and sections of the Green Line, features 49km of twin bored tunnels and 30km of elevated track.
- Phase 2, now scheduled to start in 2016, will include the north-west sections of the Green Line and the semicircular Blue Line, with 37km of twin running tunnels.
- Qatari Rail Programme Director for the Red Line, Markus Demmler, told this week’s Middle East Tunnelling Conference in Doha that he expects shortlists of five prequalified bidders for each package, each of which will be worth between US$700 million and US$1.5 billion.
- He added that peak tunnelling time is expected to be in 2015-2017, when 20 TBMs will be working simultaneously. Prequalifiers will be told that all machines will have active face pressure support and that all tunnels are to be segmentally lined.
- The metro, which is being built from scratch and includes 100 stations, is part of the QAR 130 billion ($37 billion) Qatari Integrated Rail Project, the scope of which includes:
Doha Metro will feature driverless trains
• A 350 km/h high-speed passenger railway to Bahrain that includes a further 25km of tunnelling under Doha, four stations and a causeway;
• A 250 km/h high-speed passenger railway to Saudi Arabia;
• A freight railway provision;
• An 10km looped metro system called the West Bay People Mover (WBPM), which will link the Doha peninsular and financial district with the city’s Red Line. This is planned as an underground system, but cost may force an above-ground redesign;
• A light rail transit system for Lusail to the north of Doha, which is already under construction.
- Fears that Qatar's Integrated Rail Project was running over budget prompted a rethink about whether the WPBM element should run above ground to save money. Currently it is designed as a twin track single bore underground alignment.
Metro link with Lusail's LRT
- Priority during Phase 1 of the Integrated Rail Project, which is scheduled for completion in 2020, is being given to those sections of the metro that afford better access to the football stadia. Only the first 49km of twin bored underground line will be built at this stage, with the Blue Line and a number of other suburban extensions being left until Phases 2 and 3 to be completed after the 2022 World Cup.
- Qatari Rail has been working on the design and implementation of this project since 2009, together with its strategic design partner Deutsche Bahn.
- They expect to be in a position to draw up a shortlist of prequalifiers in March, with a view to making contract awards on the tunnelling and station packages by September 2012. Qatari Rail now plans to hold conferences with prequalied companies within the next two months to help them prepare their bids. Originally Qatari Rail had hoped to be in a position to shortlist prequalifiers in October this year.
- Qatari Rail Deputy Chief Executive Geoff Mee says that the world’s leading tunnelling companies have all expressed interest and that Qatari Rail will have plenty of options when it comes to drawing up a shortlist.
- It is understood that since expressions of interest for the underground contracts were invited, more than 80 international companies have registered.
Qatari Integrated Rail Project
- Parsons Brinckerhoff is appointed strategic project manager, and a geotechnical survey and preliminary design have already been completed.
- The north-south Red Coast Line of the metro (Fig 1) will connect the town of Mesaieed in the south and the new Doha International Airport via Mushaireb, with the West Bay and Lusail developments, in Phase 1, and eventually run a northern extension to Al Khor, Al Shamal and Ras Laffan after the World Cup.
- The Golden Historic Line (yellow) runs west-east and connects the airport with Doha Central, before running east in two alignments.
- The Blue City Line forms a semicircle to connect newly developed residential and commercial areas in West Bay with central Doha and the airport, and will form part of Phase 2.
- The Green Education Line connects Education City with the centre of Doha and links to the west coast town of Dukhan, Umm Slal and the southern industrial area. It is part of both Phase 1 and Phase 2.
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