German firm to help integrate Qatar’s proposed rail network

August 28th, 2008 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 28 (IANS) Germany’s national railway company Deutsche Bahn will help the Gulf nation of Qatar in integrating its various proposed railway networks into a comprehensive and consolidated railway system.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to this effect between Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Deutsche Bahn, according to a statement issued by Qatari Diar out of Doha.

The new pact marks the launch of a multi-billion dollar national project through setting the railway integration project basis and developing a conceptual design for it.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Deutsche Bahn, one of the world’s leading railway services companies, to integrate a state-of-the-art rail system for Qatar,” Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad, chief executive of Qatari Diar, said in the statement.

“We believe such a system will advance Qatar’s forward-thinking goals of becoming a first-class state that provides a high standard of living for all its residents and is an international destination for industry and tourism,” he added.

The project is part of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani’s plan to connect Qatar with the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

The other GCC countries comprise Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to the MoU, Qatari Diar, in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn, will carefully review technically and financially how a consolidated railway network can best link the systems that are already being planned and provide possible synergies that will have an overall benefit for the country.

There are five railway systems being planned by Qatar.

One is an east coast rail link, a passenger and freight line linking the industrial cities of Ras Laffan and Mesaieed via the capital city of Doha.

The second is a high-speed link between the New Doha International Airport, Doha City Centre, and the country of Bahrain via a causeway bridge that is being developed between the two nations.

Another freight rail link is being planned based on the GCC rail and Doha expressway studies.

The fourth is the Doha metro network under the Qatar Transport Master Plan.

The fifth comprises a light rail and people mover networks, the Qatari Diar statement said.

A team of around 70 local and international experts based in Qatar will be deployed by Qatari Diar and Deutsche Bahn to undertake an intensive study on the feasibility of the project.

Qatari Diar, an investment company of the Qatari government, is wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, and is currently involved in the development of several major projects including the city of Lusail and the Doha Convention Centre and Tower.

Deutsche Bahn runs one of Europe’s most extensive railway systems connecting over 80 cities.

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