Qatar Railways Company, currently overseeing the construction of Qatar’s Doha Metro network, has announced the successful breakthrough of one of its tunnel boring machines (TBMs).
The breakthrough at the flagship Msheireb Station marks the TBM’s successful completion of 2.3km of tunnel for the Doha Metro Red Line.
The TBM, named Al Mayeda, was launched at Al Corniche Station and will now be transported back to the station to begin a new drive towards Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre Station.
Al Mayeda was subject to a short delay towards the end of its journey. Prior to the breakthrough, the TBM stalled unexpectedly after encountering a pocket of underground water.
Hamad Ibrahim Al Bishri, DCEO of Qatar Railways Company, commented: “Mining through different ground layers that vary constantly under highways and road facilities with a large-diameter TBM is a feat in itself. The short delay at the end shows how unpredictable our work can be sometimes and how important is the skill of our engineers and quality of planning. It is not always possible to know when these incidents might happen, but it is certain that they will occur at some point and we plan on this basis.”
Al Mayeda is one of 21 TBMs currently in operation for Doha Metro. 30km of tunnel has now been completed out of a total of 113km. The tunnelling phase of the project is scheduled to be complete by 2017.
Msheireb station will be the central hub of Doha’s public transportation system. The station will be the major interchange for the Red, Green and Gold lines. Excavation at Msheireb is approximately 40m below ground and construction works at the station are expected to be complete by 2018.
So far, Qatar Railways Company has had more than 70,000 lorry movements for the excavation at Msheireb Station. Chris Haskell, senior project manager of Msheireb Station, said: “If all the trucks were lined up, the queue would stretch from Doha to Mecca. Each day, we de-water the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool. It is only when we put our project into such perspective that we realise the sheer scale of this exciting project and how much we have accomplished up to now.”