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First Doha Metro train arrives at Hamad Port

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.

After a three-week journey by sea from Kobe in Japan, the new carriages were welcomed by officials into Hamad Port last night, Qatar Rail said.

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.

On schedule

In a statement, the company said the trains were delivered some two months early.

Photographs showed the carriages being offloaded from a ship.

Qatar Rail/Twitter

First Doha Metro train arrives at Hamad Port

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.

Driverless trains

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.

Qatar Rail

First Doha Metro train arrives at Hamad Port

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.”

QNA

Qatar’s Emir checks out model of Doha Metro train

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.

Station works

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.

Qatar Rail

Exterior glass panels being installed on one of the new elevated stations

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?

Qatar Rail

Exterior glass panels being installed on one of the new elevated stations

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.

Qatar Rail also shared images of the roof structure of three of its above-ground stations – Al Wakra, Ras Bu Fontas and Economic Zone.

Qatar Rail

The roof panels for the elevated stations on the Red Line.

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.

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.

Qatar Rail

First phase of Doha Metro stops

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.


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.”

Thoughts?

Qatar Rail

Doha Metro rendering

Qatar Rail will begin testing its first Doha Metro trains by December, officials have announced.

More than 52,000 people are working to ensure the public transport systems opens to passenger traffic in two years time.

Also by year-end, Qatar Rail aims to complete three of the 37 metro stations being built for the first phase of the project.

These “pilot” stations are Al Qassar, 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.

Qatar Rail

Doha Metro Red Line route

The goal is to ensure Civil Defense readiness and keep things progressing on time, Qatar Rail said in a statement this week.

Progress made

Tunneling on the public transportation network was finished at a breakneck pace last year.

And work is now underway to set up the stations across three lines (Red, Gold and Green).

Qatar Rail

Doha Metro tracks

According to CEO and managing director Abdulla Al-Subaie, more than 60 percent of Phase 1 is now complete.

Officials previously said that they aim to finish 70 percent of the project by the end of this year. This entails:

  • Completing track installation works;
  • Taking delivery of the first four of its 75 driverless trains in Doha; and
  • Awarding key operator contracts.

Speaking at a recent workshop, Al-Subaie said:

“The 10 Metro civil packages have now progressed to the next stage of construction, which will see all the 37 stations undergo mechanical, electrical and architectural fit-outs, a colossal undertaking and notable milestone for a landmark project.”

When it opens, the metro will also connect to two other separate rail projects.

They are the Lusail light-rail line, which contractors say will be operational by 2020; and a long-distance passenger and freight service linking to the GCC rail, whose timetable remains unknown.

Thoughts?