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Kone wins contract for elevators, escalators for Lusail light rail

Construction of the Lusail Light Rail Transit (LRT) system is continuing, with the recent award of a contract to Finland-based Kone. The firm will fit out the network’s stations with 49 escalators, 82 elevators and eight moving walk-ways.

Officials have yet to set a launch date for the tram-based transport network, but ridership forecast documents suggest a 2019-2020 opening.

Atkins

Lusail

The development of the transportation links for Lusail City appears to be taking share, with recent announcements of separate contracts to two Malaysia-based firms for constructing roads, light-rail stations, car parks and a suspended visitors’ center and cable car.

In a statement to the Malaysian stock exchange Bursa Malaysia, construction firm WCT Holdings Bhd said it had secured a RM1.2 billion (QR1.17 billion) contract from Lusail Real Estate Development Co., as a 70:30 joint venture with Qatar-based Al Ali Projects Co.

The scope of works for the contract includes construction of the commercial boulevard, main and internal roads, utilities, five small-sized light-rail transit stations and four two-level underground car parks, according to Malaysian newspaper The Star.

All construction on the project, which is the biggest deal for the company in two years, is expected to be complete by summer 2017, WCT said.

The firm has been involved in several projects in Qatar and the Gulf previously, including the construction and maintenance for the new Ministry of Interior headquarters in Doha, worth QR1.59 billion.

It was also responsible for building the Yas Marina Yacht Club and Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi, as well as a BD156 million project to build Bahrain City Center complex with a shopping mall, hotel, theme park, water park and multiplex cinema.

Expressway arches

In a separate announcement, Eversendai Qatar said it has secured a RM269.2 million (QR263 million) for the construction of the Al Wahda Arches and visitors’ center which are part of the Lusail Expressway plans.

The QR3.5 billion project, led by public works authority Ashghal and with main contractor Hyundai, will link Doha’s business district of Dafna/West Bay with Lusail.

Construction of Lusail Expressway.

Ashghal

Construction of Lusail Expressway.

The 5.3 km route along Al Istiqlal Road will include four highway lanes with additional filter lanes, three large interchanges and connections with the Pearl-Qatar, Katara and Lusail City, according to Ashghal.

“Extensive artscape” along the length of the road will be a key feature, with the entire project projected for completion by mid-2017.

Describing details of its latest deal in a statement issued to the Malaysian stock exchange earlier this month, the company said:

“The Al Wahda Arches are the main segments of the Artscape works which are part of the Lusail Expressway project. It will consist of two arches with a visitors’ center suspended beneath it.”

The bigger arch will be 146.52 meters long and nearly 100 meters high while the smaller arch will span 139.84 meters in length with a maximum height of 77.56 meters.

The visitors’ center will be suspended 40 meters in the air through a system of hangars and cross-bracing cables from the arches. It will be accessed by a cable car and the entire project is scheduled to be complete by June 2016, Eversendai added.

Light rail plans

These latest contracts suggest that progress is slowly being made on the development of Lusail City, which is being built from scratch to the north of Doha and is planned to be home to 200,000 residents eventually.

At its heart will be a light rail transit system comprising four main lines extending over 30.5km overground and above ground, with 36 passenger stations.

According to online plans, a stretch of 5.5km of track will go underground to the south of the new city, serving the Marina, Energy City and Qatar Entertainment City.Light Rail Transit - Lusail

A total of 24 stations at ground level are set to link up the north of the city, serving Fox Hills and Golf districts, the planned northern residential district, the medical and educational districts and Lusail’s city plaza.

However, progress on the development of many of these districts has been very slow. Currently in Fox Hills, only one residential development – The Piazza by Damac – is built. Eight years after putting down money on the properties, investors have still to have the keys to their apartments, they say.

Last summer, the  lead contractor of Lusail’s under-construction light-rail transit system said that the first line will begin operating in 2018.

QDVC – a joint venture between the Qatari Diar and French infrastructure firm Vinci – said the “yellow” line would be the first to enter service, followed by the remaining three routes in 2020.

Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Vyacheslav Argenberg / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Pre-qualification tenders have once again been launched for civil work on the first phase of Qatar’s long distance passenger & freight rail network, casting the 2018 completion date on the project into serious doubt.

Qatar Rail had begun accepting submissions from interested firms last year and planned to award a contract by next month, but ended up terminating that process.

Now, it is inviting companies to submit their interest on separate civil works and railway systems contracts, which are due March 22 and expected to be awarded by the middle of next year.

According to Railway Gazette:

“The Phase 1 civil contract covers the design, construction, integration, testing, commissioning and defect liability for earthworks, bridges, culverts and camel crossings, 133 km of slab track (with the Doha West International option potentially adding a further 23 km), freight yards and station architecture.”

Separately, a railway systems supplier, which would act as a subcontractor to the civil works contractor, would be appointed to provide equipment to bring operating speeds up to 270 km/h.

And further tenders would cover the procurement of rolling stock, as well as the appointment of an operations and maintenance contractor, the publication added.

GCC rail network map

Qatar Rail

GCC rail network map

When completed, the line will connect Doha with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as part of the multi-billion dollar GCC railway project.

The rail route is slated to run some 2,117km and link Kuwait with Muscat through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE at a cost of US$15.4 billion.

As part of the project, Qatar has been tasked with initially constructing 148km of freight and passenger lines running up from the Saudi Arabian border.

In December, the GCC said it still expected the rail line to start service within four years. However, earlier in 2014, Bahrain’s transport minister said “all the GCC countries are behind schedule” on the project.

Rail plans

Work on the GCC railway project has been divided into four phases plan, with a final completion date of 2030. The first phase, whose 2018 deadline is looking unlikely, would accommodate passenger and freight traffic via diesel locomotives.

The plans for Qatar's long-distance rail line, once all phases are complete in 2030.

Qatar Rail

The plans for Qatar’s long-distance rail line, once all phases are complete in 2030.

The line would run some 71km northeast from the Saudi border before splitting.

Passenger trains would travel a further 23km to Education City – where travelers would be able to transfer to the Doha Metro – while freight service would head toward the new port and industrial area in Mesaieed.

A rendering of the much-delayed Qatar Bahrain Causeway.

Lavigne Cheron

A rendering of the much-delayed Qatar Bahrain Causeway.

The second phase, expected to be implemented by 2021, would extend passenger lines to Bahrain through a long-delayed causeway, and Hamad International Airport, at faster speeds.

The third phase would add links to Al Khor and Ras Laffan, and a second line to Bahrain, by 2027.

And the last phase would include additional freight lines and adding a second line to the original rail link between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Thoughts?