By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
Qatar Rail achieved a major milestone with the completion of tunnelling of the over 13km northern section of its Red Line between Msherieb and Lusail.
The formal completion was announced on the stretch between Legtaifiya and Qatar University. The overhead work in the other stretches of the Red Line are currently on.
Qatar Rail managing director Abdulla Abdulaziz al-Subaie said tunnelling work on the nearly 42km-long Red Line between Wakrah and Lusail will be completed later this year.
"More than 37% of all works are already complete now. This was about 20% in the first one year after works started in July 2014," he explained. In all, 85% of the tunnelling work of the entire project is also over by now.
Out of the 18 stations on the Red Line route, 14 are underground. So are more than 28km of the 42km project. When completed, it would take only 37 minutes for a journey between Lusail and Wakrah in the Metro, compared to not less than 60 minutes by road.
Al Subaie also lauded the ISG consortium of Impregilo-SK E & C and Galfar Al Misnad which undertook the northern section's work between Msherieb and Lusail and said the JV will also build seven of the 14 underground stations of the project, as per terms of their contract.
As part of the ongoing construction, a mock-up of a station's interior is built in Al Qassar to showcase the materials being used in the interior fittings.
The four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) dug an average of 30m a day at their peak in the section. One of the TBMs, Lebretha covered as much as 42m on March 29, 2015. The best combined effort of the four TBMs was 114m on February 12, also last year.
While complimenting the contractors Al Subaie recalled the challenges they had to overcome and specially mentioned the flooding of one of the TBMs a year ago.
Once the tunneling and the other overhead works are completed later this year, the construction would move into systems installation as track, power supply and signalling work starts. "We will also start the architectural finishes of the station," added al-Subaie.
Qatar Rail CEO and senior engineer Saad al-Muhannadi said the tunneling works on the Gold and Green Lines are expected to be over soon.
A mock up of the coaches to be run on the Metro will arrive in Doha later this year. "Qatar Rail is planning to put it on public display to help educate the public about Doha Metro's services," he added.
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