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Aurecon plays key role in Qatar’s new metro system

Doha Metro platform

Doha Metro platform

26 July 2017 - The Doha Metro rapid transport rail link is one of the largest infrastructure developments in Qatar. With about 100 stations and over 219 km of rail line, it is also one of the world’s largest metro systems currently under construction.

Since 2013, global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon has been the Design Verification Engineer on the Red Line South Underground – one of the six sections that make up this mega project.

Aurecon’s David Moore, Project Leader for the Doha Metro Red Line South Underground, said close collaboration between stakeholders and accelerated turnarounds are essential to the project’s success.

“The Metro is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Qatar, so it’s attracting a lot of attention, and the scale of the project plus the tight schedule and number of firms involved all add to the challenge,” he said. “It’s also a unique development in terms of its appearance, particularly its interior. Once complete, the Metro will be one of the most visually stunning transport developments in the world, which will undoubtedly make it a tourist attraction in itself.”

Wide range of design services

Aurecon is working directly for the joint-venture handling the construction of the Red Line, RLS-JV, comprising four firms: Qatari Diar, Vinci Construction, GS Engineering and Construction, and Al Darwish Engineering. Aurecon’s engineering consultancy includes a number of elements: bored tunnels, geotechnical, structural and architectural work. The company is also reviewing all MEP work, as well as Fire and Life Safety elements of the design.

The geotechnical work, in particular, has called for special attention. All concrete elements in the construction have to conform to strict local standards, with durability requirements typically above those of other regions. For instance, Doha’s high salt levels in its air and water means that construction materials have to be assessed for their detrimental effect. 

Coordination is vital too. With such a large scale system being constructed simultaneously, a variety of project management companies, engineering consultants and contractors have to collaborate closely to ensure work proceeds to schedule. Qatar Rail is also driving consistency across the design. This means work must be regularly reviewed and realigned to meet the latest requirements. To ensure it satisfies client needs, Aurecon holds regular workshops to discuss any changes and maintain the professional integrity of the development.

Unique specification

Doha Metro entranceThe branding architecture on the project is also very specific and of a high standard. Architecturally, the stations will reflect the heritage of the country, with a ‘vaulted spaces’ design inspired by traditional Bedouin tents, giving the rail network its striking finished appearance, as David Moore explains:

“Just about every metro station around the world has a familiar aesthetic, based primarily on function. With the Doha Metro, the government in Qatar is creating not only a functional transport network, but something truly unique. This is going to be an advanced rail metro system, and also the most luxurious network ever seen. The interior will have beautifully decorated walls, vaulted ceilings and be exquisitely lit. Travelling on the Doha Metro will be about more than travelling from A to B, it will be an experience in itself.” 

The Red Line South Underground section that Aurecon is working on covers 16 km of twin-bored tunnels, with multiple cross passages, five underground stations, and the same number of switchboxes and emergency exit shafts. It will link with other lines in the network, including the Red Line North, Green Line and Gold Line. 

The Doha Metro is scheduled to open in 2020 and will be a vital transportation network when Qatar welcomes the world’s football fans for the World Cup 2022. It will link all of the city’s major hubs as well as providing a fast link to the airport. Its creation will also facilitate the development of several new hubs or districts planned for the city.

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