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February 9, 2016
Qatari sports put rail on the record track

A tunnel ring being installed in Qatar rail's Golden line (Photo: Qatar Rail)
by Fari Macham, AIPS Young Reporter Zimbabwe

DOHA, February 9, 2016 - Only 20 years ago one of the richest and fastest developing countries in the world, Qatar, had no transportation system in the air or rail, while their roads were still taking baby steps.

But two decades later that has all changed.

Qatar now boasts of one of the fastest growing airlines Qatar Airways, with a modern fleet of 176 aircrafts flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.

The Middle East nation has been moving with speed, building cities from scratch and erecting stadiums ahead of over 50 million people expected to descend here for the 2022 World Cup.

Now all their energy is being redirected to rail.

Officials here hope an ambitious rail plan consisting of three rail way networks namely Doha metro, Lusail Light Rail Transit and the Long Distance Passenger, Freight Rail will alleviate Qatar's transportation system to unprecedented levels.

And if the gains of history are anything to go by, then these ambitions make become a reality sooner than later.

Qatar Rail manager Abdulla Al Subaie has already set the end of this year as the deadline to have completed at least 50 percent of an ambitious metro railway system.

"Our population is about two million, expected to be three million by 2031. To transform the economy it is imperative that we have a vibrant transport system," he said during the second day of the 79th AIPS Congress in Doha yesterday.

Al Subaie said easing congestion was paramount to their transport vision, adding that the construction of the Doha Metro is in full swing.

"Our aim is to widen the public transport catchment, we are looking at reducing the journey time and to reduce the amount of cars on the roads during peak hour which currently stand at 170 000," Al Subaie said.

"The first phase of the project was started in 2011 and we have already achieved Guinness Book Record for having the highest number of machines operating on a rail way line at the same time showing our aggressiveness.

"We expect to finish about 50 percent he project by end of this year. In as far as the welfare of workers is concerned, we adopting the highest standard, we have improved their accommodation, living units, transports and health requirements."

For good measure Qatar Rail is taking an environmental approach and has targeted targets 100% reuse of the excavated waste.

In an effort to increase energy efficiency, Qatar Rail has also announced that the nationís upcoming public transportation system will integrate solar technology into its network.

Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Thani Al Kuwari said all this development in this gulf state was testament that Qatar is not only about organizing sport.

"In Qatar we don't only focus in organizing events. We are not only erecting sports facilities, but bringing people together and setting trend," he said.

"You will appreciate that 99% of events hosted here are unprecedented in the region. All this shows that Qatar is a place where all things are possible."

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