Work progresses on $32bn Qatar rail deals.

Significant progress has been made on Qatar’s integrated railway network, with Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), the firm overseeing its construction, having awarded contracts worth more than $32 billion to date to speed up the project, said a top official.

The company is leading three vital developments – the Doha Metro, which will link the capital’s inner and outer areas; the long distance passenger and freight rail; and the Lusail light rail transit, which will work in full integration to connect Qatar’s key areas with each other and with their vital extensions.

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Speaking on the overall technical progress, Qatar Rail’s CEO Saad Al Muhannadi said the work on the Doha Metro projects was moving as per schedule, while the Lusail light rail transit work had reached an advanced stage.The Doha Metro network will cover over 90 stations distributed among the Red Line, Gold Line, Green Line, and Blue Line, which will also be connected to each other.

On the progress of Lusail Light Rail Transit, Al Muhannadi said Qatar Rail had finalised the tunnelling works and completed more than 60 per cent of the structure for drilling works for its stations.“Additionally, 50 per cent of the structure of the bridge overlooking Al Khor and the Lusail Light Rail Transit, which is slated to be officially delivered by 2017, has been set up,” he added.

“The railway network project, estimated at $35 billion, entails plans to connect Qatar’s rail networks to those of other GCC countries,” said Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Turki Al Subaie, the managing director of Qatar Rail.

Hamad El Bishri, deputy CEO and chief programme officer at Qatar Rail, said the project will be conducted in two stages: the first, scheduled to be completed in 2019, entails the set-up of 37 stations and the second, encompassing over 56 stations, will be delivered by 2026.

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“The metro lines will operate underground in areas located in the heart of Doha,” he said.Elaborating on the long distance passenger and freight rail project, Al Bishri said it will be in three different categories – a shuttle service for GCC transit travellers, transportation services for locals, and freight transport services for international and domestic routes.

The project will be executed over four phases – with plans to initiate the enabling works in 2015 and complete the fourth and final phase in 2030 and the network extended to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar’s New Doha Port, and Hamad International Airport.

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