Qatar’s Msheireb station, which is expected to serve as a hub for the Doha Metro network, is slated to become one of the world’s largest metro stations, according to a senior Qatar Rail official.
Speaking to the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy (SCDL), Dr. Markus Demmler, senior director of Qatar Integrated Rail Project, said “rapid progress” was being made on the station.
He added that overall, some 60 percent of the metro’s tunneling works has been completed.
The SCDL, Qatar’s World Cup 2022 organizing body, had been visiting the under-construction station and posted a statement on the metro’s progress on its website this week.
It quoted Demmler as saying:
“This is one of the biggest metro stations under construction anywhere in the world. The civil design stage is complete and we are now making rapid progress in the civil construction phase. Our top priority is always site safety as we continue to advance with the construction.”
When it goes online in 2019, Msheireb will link the Red, Green and Gold lines.
Concrete work is progressing and civil work is scheduled for completion toward the later part of 2017, with the station set to be complete by mid-2018, he continued.
The first phase of the Metro is planned to launch in 2019 and will cover a distance of 80km, of which 63km will run underground. The Lusail Tram network will add a further 38 km in phase one and will be completed in 2019, SCDL said.
Previously, SCDL said the 37-station metro is expected to carry 447,000 passengers in its first year of service, 2020. The following year, passenger numbers are forecast to jump to 639,000 and will continue to grow at a rate of 3.1 percent to 3.5 percent annually after that.
The figures refer to the total number of passenger journeys, meaning a single resident could be responsible for multiple trips each day and that less than 600,000 people will use the metro daily.
In the latest statement, Demmler also said that half of the 12 tunnel boring machine (TBM) breakthroughs scheduled for the Msheireb station have already taken place.
A total of 21 TBMs have been digging out underneath the city to create the metro network. Earlier this year, Qatar Rail set a world record for the highest number of TBMs in operation at once.
In June this year, Al Mayeda was the first tunnel boring machine to break through at Msheireb after digging out 2.3km underground.
Just a few hundred meters from its destination, the TBM hit an unexpected, underground water source, which delayed its works for several days while engineers resolved the issue, Qatar Rail said at the time.
It was then transported by road to the Corniche station to start digging out a section of the Red Line toward the Doha Exhibition Center.
TBM S-846, or Al Rayyan TBM, dug out more than 4km of the Doha Metro Green Line before achieving its final “breakthrough” at Msheireb central station, Qatar Rail said in a statement earlier this month.
Tunneling is expected to wrap up next year as work shifts to laying tracks and installing various mechanical and electrical systems needed to run the mass-transit system.
The 37-station network is expected to open to passengers in 2019 with four lines:
- The Red Line North, running from Lusail to Msheireb via West Bay;
- The Red Line South, running from Msheireb to Mesaieed, with a branch to Hamad International Airport;
- The Green Line, running from Al Rayyan Stadium to Msheireb via Education City; and
- The Gold Line, running from Villaggio Mall to the area around the old Doha International Airport, via Msheireb.
In the second phase, a further 70 stations are expected to be added to the network as existing lines are extended further out of Doha, a parallel Gold line is built west of Msheireb and a semi-circular Blue Line is created.
This is expected to loop from West Bay through Al Sadd and toward the airport on a route that appears to roughly follow C-Ring Rd. Completion of phase two is currently set for 2026.