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Qatar took some major steps forward in developing its integrated rail network in 2013. The Gulf state is planning to build 325 kilometres of mainline rail and 318km of metro and light rail. The estimated cost of the entire project is $35bn.
Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), which is overseeing the development, awarded several major construction contracts for the Doha Metro this year. It also started the tendering process for the overland freight and passenger railway.
Between May and June, Qatar Rail signed design and construction contracts totalling about QR30bn ($8bn) for work on the Doha Metro scheme.
A QR8bn contract for the construction of the Red Line North underground sections was awarded to Italys Impregilo, South Koreas SK Engineering & Construction and the local Galfar al-Misnad Engineering & Contracting.
A QR8bn deal for the underground sections for the 12km Red Line South was awarded to a consortium of the local/French QDVC, South Koreas GS Engineering & Construction and the local Darwish Engineering.
A team of Austrias Porr, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) and the local HBK Contracting Company won the contract to build the underground sections for the 15km-long Green Line.
South Koreas Samsung C&T, Spains OHL and Qatar Building Company won an estimated QR4bn contract to build the two major stations at Msheireb and Education City.
The contract for the Gold Line underground section, the largest construction package, has not yet been awarded. Bids were submitted in September for the elevated sections of the Red Line South.
Construction work on the metro started last year after Qatar Rail awarded the consortium of Porr/SBG/HBK Contracting the enabling works package for the metro.
Once complete, the metro will have 100 stations and cover about 216km. It will link the yet-to-be-opened Hamad International airport with the centre of Doha and will connect several stadiums to be used for the 2022 Fifa football World Cup.
Plans to develop the overland railway have also progressed. Consultants resubmitted bids for the consultancy services contract for the long-distance passenger and freight railway in July, after the scope of the contract was expanded. Early plans for the two rail lines see the scheme divided into three phases, with the first stage involving a 195km freight line connecting Port Mesaieed and Ras Laffan, and eventually linking to Saudi Arabia through the planned GCC-wide network.
Phase 2 involves the construction of the 150km high-speed connection to Bahrain. Phase 3 will see the construction of a 165km passenger and freight national network linking Dukhan to Al-Shamal and Doha City.
2009: Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Germanys DB International set up a joint venture called Qatar Railways Development Company (QRDC)
2010: Construction on the first metro station begins at Doha airport
2011: The responsibilities of QRDC are transferred to a new entity called Qatar Railways Company
2011: DB International takes over engineering services in December
2012: Tenders for tunnelling works and station packages are released in April
2012: Enabling works contract worth $54m is awarded to Austrias Porr, with Saudi Binladin Group and the local HBK Contracting, in August