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Tunnelling Safety for the Qatar Rail Development Program

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TunnelSAFE Refuge Chamber delivered to TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht for Doha Metro Project
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TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht has been awarded the fourth and final section of Phase One of the Doha Metro Project, an integral part of the Qatar Rail Development Program (QRDP).

In addition to the German manufacturer’s supply of 15 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for the first three sections of Phase One, they have now been awarded the final section, dubbed the Gold Line, consisting of an additional six TBMs. Of the 21 machines that Herrenknecht are preparing to supply, 17 will be fitted with a MineARC Tunnelling Refuge Chamber, providing an immediate safe-retreat for workers in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Qatar, which frequently suffers from traffic congestion, will receive the new Metro system in the lead up to the Gulf nation’s 2018 FIFA World Cup. Consisting of four lines, the network will cover the Greater Doha area, and include connections to town centres and vital commercial and residential areas throughout the city.

TBM excavation is imperative to the Doha Metro Project, requiring minimal interference to the day-to-day life of people working and living in the area. A large proportion of the development will be completed underground with just one point of entry; highlighting the importance of refuge chambers on board the boring machines, providing a secondary means of egress in an emergency.

TunnelSAFE Refuge Chamber providing safety to the Qatar Rail Development Program, Doha.

Each MineARC Refuge Chamber can shelter up to 20 people for a minimum of 30 hrs and features a number of important life support systems including; primary and secondary oxygen supplies, as well as a carbon monoxide/dioxide scrubbing system. An automatic overpressure system maintains positive internal pressure at all times, periodically releasing calculated amounts of air into the internal chamber.

MineARC Chambers have been developed and refined to meet the very latest industry legislations pertaining to refuge chambers, including the current British Standard (BS) 6164:2001: Code of Practice for Health and Safety in Tunnelling in the Construction Industry, and the ITA’s Guidelines for the Provision of Refuge Chambers in Tunnels Under Construction.

Phase 1 of the Doha Metro Project is due for completion in 2018.


For more information on MineARC’s involvement in tunnelling and underground construction click here, or for further information on any of our Tunnel Refuge Chambers, please contact us.


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