Two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), deployed by Qatar Rail (QR), successfully completed their tunnelling on Doha Metro’s Green Line on schedule, marking a milestone in the project's progress.
Al Rayyan and Al Gharrafa TBMs went through four breakthroughs before reaching the final destination at Msheireb.
The high-tech TBMs were two of the 21 used in the first phase of the Doha Metro project which saw Qatar recognised by the Guinness World Records for having the largest number of tunnel boring machines operating simultaneously in a single project.
Qatar Rail project director Jassim al-Ansari expressed delight that Al Rayyan and Al Gharrafa TBMs have completed their section of tunnelling on schedule and they can now be successfully decommissioned.
"To date, roughly 30km out of 33km has been tunnelled on the Green Line, a remarkable feat considering we began the Herculean task less than 18 months ago.”
The Doha Metro’s Green Line, which will take passengers from Al Riffa to Al Mansoura had six TBMs working on tunnels over 33km in length.
A view of the TBM decommissioning process.
Al Rayyan and Al Gharrafa TBMs will now be dismantled and taken to the supplier, Germany’s Herrenknecht's local office in Doha where their parts will either be recycled or sold off.
The remaining four TBMs are expected to complete the work on the Green Line in early April. Leatooriya will be the next TBM to complete its mission this month when it achieves its breakthrough at the Education City Station, followed shortly by the remaining TBMs.
Since operations started, the TBMs have gone through a long journey which started from the Herrenknecht warehouse in Berlin to Al Messila site in Doha where they were finally dismantled.
The QR logistics team monitored the entire process upon the TBMs arrival at the Doha Port, and co-ordinated with the Doha Port Authority, Qatar customs, Milaha, Traffic Police, Lekhwiya and numerous contractors to ensure a seamless process from the ship to the site.
The QR team works around current traffic constraints as part of its constant efforts to keep disruptions for Qatar residents to a minimum. In order to minimise the traffic disruption, transportation of the TBMs were done between 1 and 3am.
A mock trial run was done to eliminate obstruction in the ways and at offloading sites. Discharging and offloading plans at the port and work sites were in place before the arrival of the TBM.
A TBM which completed its work is being dismantled from a work site.
The first phase of the Doha Metro project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019 while completion of the Lusail Tram is set for 2020.
By 2030 all the three networks – Doha Metro, Lusail Tram and the long-distance rail, which will link the country with the GCC Rail network – are expected to be completed.
With the completion of the first phase of the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram, Qatar Rail expects to ferry 600,000 passengers per day by 2021. By then, 37 metro stations are expected to be complete, with an average journey time of two minutes between adjacent stations.
A tunnel boring machine is being decommissioned at the under-construction Msheireb station.