Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), the company overseeing the construction of the much-anticipated integrated railways network, has received four more tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for Phase 1 of the Doha Metro.

The four TBMs Al Mayeda, Al Khor, Lehwaila and Al Wakra were manufactured by Germany’s Herrenknecht and will be used for the Red Line North and South Underground projects.

Al Mayeda and Al Khor will be used for the Red Line North Underground. The Design and Build (D&B) for this project will be undertaken by a joint venture (JV) led by Italy’s Salini Impregilo and comprising South Korea’s S K Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd, and Qatar’s Galfar Al Misnad Engineering & Contracting WLL. A total of four TBMs (named Lebretha Al Mayeda, Al Khor and Al Bidda) (already on site ready to be assembled) are proposed to bore the required rail tunnels for the Red Line North project.

Lehwaila and Al Wakra will be launched into service for the Red Line South Underground project. The Design and Build (D&B) for this project will be undertaken by a JV led by the French-Qatari company QDVC and comprising of South Korea’s G. S. Engineering and Construction and Qatar’s Al Darwish Engineering. Five TBMs (named Lehwaila, Al Wakra, Mushaireb, Doha and Al Zubara) will be utilised for the tunnelling on  the Red Line South Underground project.

Each TBM will travel a distance of between 7-9 km and will take approximately two years to complete their respective journeys. The TBM average speed will be between 12 m/day to 21 m/day, depending on ground conditions. Daily excavation quantity will be over 600 m³, with an estimated predicted total excavation quantity of over 5,000,000 m³.

Each of the TBMs for the Doha Metro measures 7.05 m in diameter and 120 m in length, therefore to ensure transportation is successfully managed from the Doha Port to the respective construction sites, the TBMs are dismantled into smaller sections which enable easier transportation.

It will take a few months to re-assemble all four TBMs into complete machines and Qatar Rail will provide regular updates in the newspapers on the progress and every time we receive delivery of a new TBM.

TBMs are ideal for Doha; they interfere very little to the vibrant and active city life. Needing only one point of entry, they can tunnel below the city streets, practically unknown to the population above. They are also ideal for longer lengths of uninterrupted tunnelling, as is required for the Doha Metro project.

Qatar Rail extends its appreciation and special thanks to the Qatar Rail team working on the Red Line North and South projects, and also to the Doha Port team who unloaded each of the sections; the Customs Department for their quick response in clearing all necessary formalities; and to the Civil Defence who safely escorted the sections to the construction sites.

The scope of work for Red Line North Underground comprises the design and construction of approximately 13.4 km twin-bored tunnel, including seven underground stations, between the proposed Msheireb Underground Station and Doha Golf Course via Doha West Bay. The tunnels will be built at an average depth of approximately 20 m below ground.

Red Line South Underground extends from Msheireb in the North to Hamad International Airport (HIA) in the South. The scope of work for Red Line South Underground includes seven underground stations and the design and construction of approx. 14km twin-bored tunnel to be built at an average depth of approximately 25 m below ground.

Qatar Rail is awaiting the delivery of a further 16 TBMs – these will arrive in a Qatar over the coming months, to be utilised between the Red Line North, Red Line South, Green Line and Gold Line Underground projects.

The Green Line – a JV led by Austria’s PORR Bau and comprising KSA’s Saudi Bin Laden Group and Qatar’s Hamad bin Khaled Contracting will receive six TBMs, whilst the Gold Line – recently awarded to a Design and Build Contract to a Joint Venture led by Greece’s Aktor SA and comprising India’s Larsen and Toubro, Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi Insat ve Sanayi Anonim Sirketi and Sezai Turkes Feyzi Akkaya Marine Construction and Qatar’s Al Jaber Engineering – will also receive six TBMs.