MoU signed as basis for planning an integrated system
The Qatari government has agreed on a long-term cooperation with Deutsche Bahn (DB) aimed at setting up a modern integrated railway system in Qatar, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect was signed by the investment company Qatari Diar and DB ML AG in Doha at the end of August. DB will develop the conceptual design and provide consultancy services for these plans, which are based on a multi-billion dollar project cluster involving the establishment of an efficient local transport system in Doha as well as the development of international freight and passenger lines, including a possible high-speed rail link to Bahrain. DB is not expected to make any financial contribution, but will merely provide its own expertise to help set up competitive railway infrastructure. ‘This agreement clearly demonstrates the strength of our integrated group and the excellent reputation our railway know-how enjoys in other countries,’ commented Dr. Otto Wiesheu, Member of the Deutsche Bahn AG Board of Management for Economic and Political Affairs and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DB International GmbH.
The Emir of the State of Qatar, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, is intensely involved in the conception and establishment of this integrated transport concept for Qatar and wishes to ensure the best possible coordination and consolidation of an integrated railway with systems that are already being planned. Providing comfortable links to neighbouring countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council is a further aspect that is of personal importance to HH the Emir. Therefore the planned ‘Friendship Bridge’ between Qatar und Bahrain will not only carry road traffic, but also includes the vision of a high-speed rail line.
‘We are looking forward to working closely with Deutsche Bahn, one of the world’s leading transportation and logistics companies, to integrate a state-of-the-art rail system for Qatar,’ stated Mr. Ghanim bin Saad al Saad, CEO of Qatari Diar.
‘We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Qatari Diar on the integrated railway network and to prove once again our international experience,’ added Martin Bay, Chairman of DB International and representative of Deutsche Bahn AG. ‘We are looking forward to solve this task, which clearly shows Qatar’s vision and ambition.’
A joint project group comprising around 60 transport experts and planning engineers from DB International GmbH will draw up various planning options and track layouts for several different transport systems in cooperation with the Qatari partner:
- The east coast rail link, a passenger and freight railway linking Ras Laffan industrial complex with the new port in Mesaieed via Doha.
- The high-speed link between the new international airport and Doha city center and across the planned causeway bridge to Manama in Bahrain.
- The Doha expressway based on the GCC rail studies, which will provide a freight rail link between Qatar and the border to Saudi Arabia.
- >The Doha Metro Network, which will ultimately consist of six Metro lines. In the city centre, the lines will run underground.
- People mover networks for the local transport sector, as contained in the individual urban development plans e.g. for Lusail, Westbay and Education City.
The integrated rail network will be planned using state-of-the-art technology and the latest transport systems in order to meet the high standards of comfort and environment friendliness demanded by the Qatari government. After the completion of the planning phase the findings will be presented to HH the Emir of Qatar and his government early in the year 2009.