Tunnelling works are gaining remarkable momentum at Qatar Rail Doha Metro project. Qatar Railways Company (QRC) has taken delivery of the first 21 tunnel boring machines (TBM) assigned for the project tunnelling works while most of them are currently operating underneath the Doha city, at the Red, Green and Gold Lines.
Significant progress was made during the weekend of 24 – 26 April at the Red Line works, where one TBM was lifted from one station site to another for the first time during the Doha Metro project.
Al Khor TBM, which already finished its first stretch from “Al Qassar” station to “Doha Exhibition & Convention Centre” station, had to be conveyed back to “Al Qassar” to be re-launching towards the north of Doha, to complete the tunnelling section between Al Qassar, Katara and Legtaifiya stations. The new milestone clearly reflects the tunnelling progress at the overall Doha Metro project where nearly 20km of tunnels have been completed.
The tunnel boring machines (TBM) were transported during the night of Friday 24 and Saturday 25 April at 1.30am. Efficient logistical preparations preceded the lift and transfer, ensuring a safe transportation process: a 1,600-tonne crane was hired to lift the huge high-tech machine, a special hydraulic trailer of 6.3m wide and 18m long equipped with 192 wheels was used for this move, traffic lights were temporarily dismantled, and a specialised ISF force escorted the convoy.
TBMs are a key component in implementing the Doha Metro innovative project; a high-tech mechanised alternative to conventional methods of design-and-build mining, drilling and blasting tunnels through everything from soft ground to hard rocks. They form circular tunnels through the rock, and can install concrete linings along the drilled sections to reinforce the bored tunnel and stabilise the ground.
The Doha Metro’s Red Line has launched all tunnel-boring machines – namely Lebretha, Al Mayeda, Al Khor, Al Biddaa, Lehwaila, Al Wakra, Msheireb, Doha and Al Zubara. Tunnelling works are progressing according to plan where the total stretch dug by these TBMs reached 11,880 m for both the northern and southern sections.