On 7 December Qatar Rail, the Qatari national public transport operator, awarded joint venture RKH Qitarat the operations and maintenance contract for the automated metro and light rail networks of the capital Doha and the planned city of Lusail.
RKH Qitarat is based on a consortium between RATP Dev and Keolis (49%) and the Qatari company Hamad Group (51%). The contract, for a period of 20 years, is estimated to be worth three billion euros. The networks will be launched in stages from the end of 2018, until the end of construction in 2020.
Qatar Rail is currently in charge of building the new integrated urban transport network, which will include both the Doha metro and Lusail light rail.
The metro network – red, green and gold
The Doha metro will be completely automated and driverless with 75km of track and 37 stations. It will be equipped with CBTC technology and will initially consist of three lines.
The Red line will serve the Lusail City International Airport in 36 minutes and connect with the metro network. The Green line will link Al Mansoura, to the east, to Al Riffa, in the west, and serve 11 stations. The Gold line will serve the Khalifa International Stadium, completed in 2016.
The first part of the network will be largely underground and is due to start operating from the end of 2018, with 640,000 passengers a day starting from 2021.
The mobilisation phase prior to the launch of this network will last one year, during which RKH Qitarat will have to recruit and train its new employees. Over the next three months, the number of employees is set to increase to 100, in order to reach the 1,500 employees required in two years time.
Tram for a new city
Lusail is located 15km from Doha’s city centre and is currently being built. It is expected to house 240,000 residents once completed. 90% of the Qatari population currently live in Doha and its surrounding suburbs (equivalent to 2.6 million people), 80% of which are foreign workers.
The Lusail light rail network will cover 18km of track and consist of four lines serving 25 stations in total. Half of the network will be underground. The first part of the light rail network is due to open to the public in January 2019, and construction of the rest is expected to finish in 2020.
Source: RATP Dev press release