By Andy Sambidge
Qatar Railways Company deputy CEO says network slated for finish two years before World Cup
Qatar's multi-billion dollar rail plans are set to be completed in 2020, two years before the country hosts the World Cup, a senior official has said.
The total budget for rail development in Qatar is estimated at about QR130bn ($35.7bn) and the project team is targeting an early finish to ensure adequate time for testing and inspections, Geoff Mee, deputy CEO of Qatar Railways Company, said.
“We made a promise as a country, and we have committed to deliver a railway system fit for the 2022 World Cup, but actually the target isn’t 2022. The target is 2020," he told a joint Qatar-Korea transport seminar in Doha.
"We have to be ready and built by 2020 in order for us to do the testing, the commissioning and have some in-service experience with rail in Qatar, and be examined by the Fifa committee,” he said in comments published by Qatar daily Gulf Times on Friday.
Mee said he hopes that Korean expertise will help in the construction of the 358km of rail line, 119 of which will be underground, over 100 stations and trains capable of speeds up to 350 km/h.
Korean technology may also be used in the Lusail LRT system, linked to the Doha transport system, which will cater to an expected population of more than 450,000 people, he added.
Plans are also in the pipeline for an underground West Bay People Mover project which will be 12km long, have 19 stations, two flagship stations and maintenance facilities, and will be designed for rubber-tyre vehicles.
In April, Qatari Diar and Qatar Railways Co signed a $42.5m deal with US engineering firms Parsons and Aecom to manage the construction of a light rail transit system.
The Lusail Light Rail system will feed into the Gulf state’s Lusail City development.
The contract includes the construction of 30km of track, 24 stations, service depots and a viaduct, the statement said.
I love Qatar, but I will believe they can do this when I am riding on the train! I see a lot of progress, but I don't see a lot of reason for this one, as much fun as the construction over a decade would BE and all.