Final breakthrough in Doha

I’ve been writing about the Doha metro project for years and from the outset the challenge was huge. Building three lines of subway simultaneously, in a location where bored tunnelling experience is limited, facing some unusual ground conditions, and working to an immovable deadline (FIFA World Cup 2022) gave the project a level of difficulty that not many experience.

But Qatar Rail has now announced the 76th TBM breakthrough (yes 76th) on the Red Line South marking the end of tunnelling for the first phase of the scheme. In just 26 months Doha has delivered 111km of new bored tunnel consisting of over 70,000 tunnel rings, using 7m diameter Herrenknecht earth pressure balance machines. It is a huge achievement.


Delivering this in just over two years is even more impressive given that machine S-868 had to be shut down when seawater flooded its bore. Over 1000 new spare parts had to be sent over to Qatar from the Herrenknecht headquarters in Germany. But just three months later it was back in action.

Commenting on the achievement, Dr. Eng. Saad Al Muhannadi, Qatar Rail’s Chief Executive Officer said: “Completion of tunneling on the Doha Metro is yet another major milestone for the project and one we are delighted to have achieved on plan and to schedule. Until now 7.5km of above ground tracks viaducts have been installed and base slab and foundations have been completed on 33 stations. Roofs have been completed on 8 stations and roof slabs are progressing at 27 different stations. We are delighted to have been able to achieve all this within the timelines and budgets allocated and this is due to the hard work and dedication of all parties involved.”

Tunnelling started in July 2014 on the northern part of Red Line by TBM “Lebretha” in Al Qassar site. Now that tunneling has been completed we are moving to the laying of the tracks, awaiting the arrival of the train mockups, and working on the completion of the interiors of the stations with mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works),” says Al Muhannadi.

The first phase of the Doha Metro project is expected to be complete in 2020. By 2030, all the three networks – Doha Metro, Lusail Tram and the long-distance rail, which will link Qatar with the GCC Rail network – are expected to be complete. By 2020 Doha Metro’s 37 metro stations are expected to be operative, with an average journey time of two minutes between adjacent stations.


Red Line North the ISG joint venture – Salini Impreglio S.p.A./ SK Engineering & Constructing Co Ltd/ Galfar Al Misnad Engineering & Constructing W.L.L (22.8km of tunnelling)

Red Line South the Qatari Diar Vinci Construction JV (QDVS)/ GS Engineering & Construction Corp./ Al-Darwish Enginering W.L.L (32.6km)

Green Line contractor PORR Bau GmbH/ Saudi Binladin Group Company Ltd/ Hamad Bin Khalid Contracting Co. W.L.L.(33.4km)

Gold Line the joint venture Aktor S.A./ Larsen & Toubro Limited/ Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi Anonim Sirketi/ Sezai Turkes Feyzi Akkaya Marine Construction/ Al Jaber Engineering LLC) (23.3km)

More Doha metro articles here

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