A dual passenger train system that shuttles passengers between the south and north nodes of Qatar’s Hamad International airport (HIA) has commenced operations.

The start of the train service on 1 November follows the release of an operational safety certificate from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, HIA said in a statement.

The ministry has worked with HIA over the past few months through the safety certification process to ensure the airport, the operator of the passenger train, achieves compliance with state regulations and has “an effective safety management system and the appropriate competency and capacity to… ensure safe railway operations”.

The two trains are expected to significantly reduce travel time through the airport for both arriving and departing passengers, which includes transferring passengers.

Passengers departing from the airport can board from the South station, located behind the iconic Lamp Bear, which will take them towards the North station located near concourses D and E. Passengers arriving at the airport can board from the North station, which will take them towards the transfers hall and arrivals immigration located near the South station.

Each passenger train has five carriages with a design capacity of 38 persons each, allowing each train to transport up to 190 passengers at a time. The two passenger trains will be operated simultaneously in a synchronised manner, with the train system remaining operational 24 hours a day. Each trip between the two stations takes 90 seconds, with a 44-second waiting time at each station. The approximate walking time for the same distance is nine minutes.

The trains will be operated at a speed of 7 metres a second to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers. To maintain segregation between departing and arriving passengers, designated carriages will be available for each of the factions.

HIA said it achieved a 90.5 per cent on-time departure performance for the fiscal year ending March 2016. The airport processed more than 30 million passengers in 2015, at parity with its capacity.

There are plans to further expand HIA and bring the capacity to 50 million passengers a year.

Date of operation 1 November 2016

Number of trains

2

Number of stations

2

Names of stations

South and North

Passenger usage

Arriving, departing and transferring passengers including persons with reduced mobility (PRM) and emotional support animals

Number of carriages

5 per train; total of 10 carriages

Operating capacity

38 persons per carriage; 190 persons per train; total of 380 passengers

Operating time

24 hours a day; 365 days a year

Operating speed

7 metres a second

Operating frequency

90 seconds between stations; 44 seconds waiting time per station

Service type

Complimentary

Source: HIA

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