The first four trains that will run on the Doha Metro arrived in Qatar yesterday, in what is a landmark moment for the infrastructure project.
This is the first batch of some 75 trains that will run on the new driverless rail network, which opens to the public in early 2020.
According to Qatar Rail, the trains will be transported to its Al Wakrah depot, reassembled and then tested to ensure safety standard.
In a statement, the company said the trains were delivered some two months early.
Photographs showed the carriages being offloaded from a ship.
In another shot, workers posed by a carriage that was draped in a banner bearing the now-iconic image of Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim.
Alluding to logistics issues during the ongoing blockade, Qatar Rail said in a tweet, “Whatever the circumstances and challenges, we will remain committed to achieve #Qatar Rail.”
Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) also tweeted about the trains, posting a short, time-lapse video showing the carriages arriving on Qatari soil.
Last month, Qatar Rail said it aimed to receive and start testing its first consignment of trains before the end of this year.
To do this, it aims to have three trial stations on the Red Line up and running by then.
When Phase 1 of the network launches in 2020, a total of 37 stations will operate across three lines – Red, Green and Gold.
All the trains on the metro will be driverless and fully automatic, similar to the Dubai Metro.
Each will have three carriages, and are being manufactured by Kinki Sharyo Co, based in the Japanese city of Osaka.
In a statement on its website, Kinki Sharyo said the train had been designed with German company Tricon Design, to reflect Qatar’s culture.
Qatar’s Emir “personally selected” the exterior design of the train, which used the Arabian horse as inspiration for the sleek, shaped front-end of the Metro vehicles, the company added.
Meanwhile, the usual square windows on the side of metro trains have been replaced with a bespoke curved design, while the color scheme was “inspired by elements in the local environment.”
Inside, the train will be divided into three sections. A gold class will have individual seats and has been designed “for passengers that seek a higher level of luxury and comfort.”
There will be a dedicated zone for women and children, while seats in the standard class are arranged as a “side bench,” Kinki Sharyo added.
All the carriages will also be fitted with large screens that give passenger information and show a route map.
Meanwhile, work on the Metro stations is picking up pace. Earlier this month, Qatar Rail posted sneak-peek pictures of construction progress at some of the stops.
Glass facades, sweeping roofs and elegant vaulted ceilings could already be seen in place at some stations on the Red Line.
The Gulf crisis created supply chain problems, getting glass panels for the front of at least one of the stations.
However, Qatar’s Transport Minister Jassim Saif Al-Sulaiti said he was confident in the project meeting its deadlines:
“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,” he added.
Who’s excited about traveling on the Metro? Thoughts?