The gleaming metro system built under the Qatar desert

(CNN) — It is quick. It is driverless. It has a Gold Class for premium passengers. And it is one of the crucial superior metro prepare techniques ever constructed.

That is the Doha Metro, a gleaming transportation system that may carry followers to their vacation spot in subsequent yr’s soccer World Cup and, it is hoped, will go on to revolutionize transport in Qatar.

Constructed principally underground and throughout the Qatari capital and its suburbs, the community has been operational since 2019, offering a dependable transportation different in a quickly increasing metropolis the place residents have lengthy relied on vehicles and site visitors is incessantly gridlocked.

Part one of many challenge noticed the creation of 37 stations, with three traces — Pink, Inexperienced and Gold — operating alongside a 76-kilometer (47-mile) community.

The absolutely automated, 60-meter-long trains have a 416-passenger capability and are divided into three sections: Customary, Household (for lone females and males or females commuting with youngsters aged 11 or youthful) and Gold (Goldclub Journey Card holders) class.

Clear and spacious, the trains can cruise at as much as 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph) and are absolutely outfitted with CCTV and public Wi-Fi techniques. They even have USB ports in order that Gold class vacationers can cost cellphones and tablets whereas in transit.

Merging previous and future

The metro's trains can cruise at up to 100 kilometers per hour.

The metro’s trains can cruise at as much as 100 kilometers per hour.

Dimitris Sideridis

The stations had been all designed to symbolize a imaginative and prescient of each modernization and preservation, fusing conventional options of regional structure with a up to date method.

“It was vital that the design would relate to its context, to town of Doha and to Qatar,” Ben van Berkel, co-founder of UNStudio, a Dutch structure agency that joined forces with the Qatar Rail Structure Division to create the stations, tells CNN Journey.

“We wished to merge the previous and the way forward for Qatar in a single gesture, so we drew inspiration from varied conventional Qatari architectural components — significantly the arch — and adjusted this to create what we discuss with as ‘vaulted areas,'” he says.

“So, whereas the exteriors considerably reference the monolithic power of previous Qatari structure, the inside areas create an impact of sunshine, motion and fluidity.”

Design and planning goals

The metro is a crucial part of Qatar's plans for hosting the soccer World Cup 2022.

The metro is a vital a part of Qatar’s plans for internet hosting the soccer World Cup 2022.

Dimitris Sideridis

Whereas curved kinds and illumination had been key design components, sustaining a transparent architectural id was additionally important.

Van Berkel stated one of many fundamental challenges with a model new challenge of this scale was “to create a design which permits each coherence and individuality.”

“On the one hand, you need to create recognition factors throughout an entire metropolis, whereas on the opposite, every particular person station has to have its personal scale, id and reply to its particular context,” he explains.

The architects tackled this by means of using recurring components and supplies, together with stable sandstone exteriors and hanging interiors with a mother-of-pearl iridescence — a nod to Qatar’s lengthy historical past as a serious pearl-diving and buying and selling hub.

By devising a regular however adaptive system it additionally turned attainable to make use of quite a lot of configurations, every of which reply to the particular necessities and sizes of the person stations.

“The size of the metro community in Doha required cautious planning so as to adjust to a strict time schedule and obtain minimal disruption to the present infrastructure,” Van Berkel says. “For that reason, flexibility turned a design and planning goal on all ranges.”

Main artery

Msheireb Station lies at the heart of the network.

Msheireb Station lies on the coronary heart of the community.

Dimitris Sideridis

On the coronary heart of all of it is Msheireb Station, the most important within the community in addition to its interchange serving as a hub for all three traces operating by means of it.

Huge and smooth, the spectacular station contains a complete of 4 fundamental ranges and has a depth of roughly 40 meters. Previous its illuminated entrance, triangular arched kinds adorned with hexagon-shaped pearlescent tiles lend a futuristic look that extends all the way in which to the platform ranges.

The station’s wealthy inside areas additionally supply an array of business retailers, whereas the modest exterior is dotted with bicycle racks.

Outdoors, commuters and passersby can even marvel at a mural by Doha-based artist Abdulaziz Yousef Ahmed titled “Household Reunion” — one of many a number of items of artwork on show alongside the community, which embody a reproduction of the Greek statue of “Charioteer of Delphi” that World Cup spectators will come throughout upon arrival at Hamad Worldwide Airport metro station.

The world’s largest soccer occasion remains to be greater than a yr away, however preparations are already underway, with the brand new subterranean rail community at their core.

Contained in the Sport Metropolis station, massive posters of blue-and-white footballs emblazoned with arrows level in direction of the course of the close by Khalifa Worldwide Stadium, one of many venues that may host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Eco legacy

The Msheireb station connects all three lines.

The Msheireb station connects all three traces.

Dimitris Sideridis

Organizers count on a couple of million individuals to reach in Doha throughout the first World Cup to be held within the Center East and the Arab world — and the Metro system was designed to be its transportation pillar.

The system straight hyperlinks Doha’s Hamad Worldwide Airport with 5 of the eight stadiums internet hosting Qatar 22 matches, with the remaining websites of the compact occasion being accessible by way of a mix of rail and bus choices.

Organizers say the Doha Metro will — in live performance with bus and tram routes — shuttle followers between their resorts, the stadiums and town’s varied vacationer sights.

“The metro system is environment friendly, electrical and makes use of regenerative braking techniques which assist to scale back the carbon footprint,” World Cup organizers say on their website. “As well as, all of the metro stations are designed and operated beneath inexperienced constructing certification — guaranteeing their inexperienced credentials.”

Wanting past the World Cup, officers see the increasing Doha Metro as a key infrastructural element of the Qatar Nationwide Imaginative and prescient 2030 — the gas-rich nation’s growth plan to diversify its economic system — that may profit future generations within the years to comply with the soccer match remaining on December 18, 2022.

“The legacy that eco-transportation will go away is one thing that will probably be felt by everybody in Qatar lengthy after the World Cup,” says Thani Al Zarraa, mobility director for the occasion’s Supreme Committee for Supply & Legacy.

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