Doha is making progress on its proposed railway network with the appointment of consultants, contractors and suppliers for the city’s metro and light rail schemes.
Qatar Railways Company (QRail) has selected project managers and contractors for the city’s metro project, and Qatar Foundation has appointed a consortium to deliver the rolling stock and construction work for a tram network at Education City.
Doha’s rail projects are a priority, as they will help tackle growing congestion on the city’s roads. They will also be a crucial part of the infrastructure that will serve football fans visiting Qatar for football’s Fifa World Cup, which means they will need to be completed before 2022.
For the metro, QRail has selected three project management teams. A team of US-based Louis Berger and France’s Egis Rail has been chosen to manage the construction of the Gold Line and the two major stations. US-based Jacobs Engineering will manage the Red Line and Hill International, also of the US, has been selected for the Green Line.
The selected firms will coordinate with Parsons Brinckerhoff. The US-based firm was appointed as the strategic programme manager for the Qatar Intergrated Rail Programme in September 2011.
The project managers will oversee the construction contracts currently being tendered. The submission date the stations package is 9 September and the deadline for the tunnelling packages is 28 October. Contractors bidding for the packages expect QRail to make awards in early 2013.
QRail has prequalified 18 consortiums split into four groups to bid for tunnelling packages and an additional group for the stations. The first four tunnelling packages are for the Red Line North, Red Line South, Green Line and the Gold Line. The station package consists of the two major terminals planned for the Msheireb Downtown Doha development and Education City.
The rail company is also evaluating prequalification entries for the planned elevated sections on its multibillion-dollar Doha metro scheme. According to sources in Doha, the client is hoping to tender the elevated part of the metro scheme by the end of this year.
Construction work on the scheme is starting after QRail awarded the consortium of Austria’s Porr, the Saudi Binladin Group and the local HBK Contracting the enabling works package for the metro. The three-year contract has an estimated QR200m ($55m) of work that has already been defined. The total value of the contract could increase to QR500m as more work is added.
The enabling works will include site facilities, civil structures and removing utilities, and will be carried out in preparation for the tunnelling and major stations packages. QRail received bids from four consortiums for the work earlier this year.
The 300-kilometre-long Doha Metro will comprise four lines: Red Line, Gold Line, Green Line and Blue Line. The rail project will have 80 stations by the time it is completed. The metro will link the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) to the centre of Doha and will connect a number of the stadiums that will be used for the 2022 World Cup.
Another rail scheme serving Education City on the outskirts of Doha will be linked to the metro project. A consortium led by Germany’s Siemens has been awarded a QR1.5bn contract to develop a tram network for Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus, located on the western edge of Doha.
Siemens will provide Qatar Foundation with 19 Siemens Avenio trams, which will operate on a 11.5km-long route within the Qatar Foundation campus. The trams will operate without overhead contact lines and will receive electric power from the planned 25 stations.
Siemens will also supply signalling and communication technology, as well as depot equipment, and will equip four stations with platform screen doors.
Another consortium member, the UAE/Australian Al-Habtoor Leighton Group, will execute the design and the construction of the track work, tram stops, and the depot, which includes maintenance workshops and administration buildings. Al-Habtoor Leighton’s work is valued at QR450m.
The tram system is scheduled to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2015.
Qatar is also planning a national rail network that will connect to the wider GCC rail network. The rail projects will be supplemented by $20bn of new roads being developed by the Public Authority (Ashghal).