The massive Doha Metro project appears on track to begin testing trains this December, new photos of construction progress suggests.
Last week, Qatar Rail posted pictures on social media of some of the 37 metro stations currently under construction.
At some stops, glass facades, sweeping roofs and elegant vaulted ceilings could already be seen in place.
تشهد محطات الخط الاحمر جنوب تقدما هائلا في التشطيبات المعمارية، فالساحات الرئيسية للمحطات بدات تتضح معالمها بسقوفها المتداخلة وتصاميمها الفنية المميزة وأرضياتها المرصوفة #شركة_الريل // Architectural finishing works for the Metro Red Line South stations are making tremendous headway. The station concourse levels are beginning to take shape with the assembly of the intricate vaulted and petal ceilings, along with the terrazzo flooring #QatarRail
Qatar Rail also shared images of the roof structure of three of its above-ground stations – Al Wakra, Ras Bu Fontas and Economic Zone.
The fiberglass roofing panels have a look of sand dunes about them.
Dealing with the blockade
The first phase of the Doha Metro is set to open to passengers at the beginning of 2020.
Qatar Rail appears determined to stick to this timetable, despite the impact of the months-long GCC blockade.
Commenting on the installation of external glass panels at one station, the company acknowledged supply chain issues caused by the Gulf crisis, but said it was forging ahead.
Installation of the exterior glass facade for the stations is well underway despite the challenges in material shipment.#QatarRail pic.twitter.com/ay3Ahlc7NU
— Qatar Rail (@QatarRail) August 10, 2017
In a statement this week, the company added that it recently moved a key component of the metro network from Dubai to Doha.
Relocating the Building Automation & Control System (BACS) center allows work to continue unaffected by regional politics.
Following a visit to the facility yesterday, Qatar’s Transport Minister Jassim Saif Al-Sulaiti said:
“Any doubt that the project will be delayed in light of external factors has been relinquished by the hard work and dedication of the Qatar Rail Team.”
Three test stations
By the end of this year, Qatar Rail is aiming to complete three “pilot” stations on the Red Line.
They are Al Qassar, which is part of Red Line North underground; Al Doha Al Jadeda, which is part of Red Line South underground; and the Economic Zone, one of the elevated stations on the Red Line South.
Officials previously said that they aim to finish 70 percent of the project by the end of this year.
This includes laying all track, taking delivery of the first four driverless trains and awarding operator contracts.
بلغ معدل تكرار الحوادث (AFR) في مشروع مترو الدوحه 0.036 وهو على الأرجح أدنى مستوى تم تحقيقه في مثل هذا النوع من المشاريع الضخمة، فمنذ البداية “تتصدر السلامة قائمة أولوياتنا” #شركة_الريل // In #DohaMetro project the Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) is 0.036 which is most probably the lowest ever achieved in such a mega project From outset, “safety has been at the helm of our operation” #QatarRail
Testing the trains is also expected to begin by year-end.
More than 52,000 people are working to ensure the public transport systems opens to passenger traffic in two years time.
In April, Qatar’s Emir urged officials to “speed up infrastructure projects of various types” and “to enhance the welfare of citizens and meet their needs.”