A circular tramway is under construction in Doha’s Msheireb Downtown area.

QATAR: A 2 km circular tramway is under construction in Doha’s Msheireb Downtown area with opening planned for September.

The tramway will serve a ‘smart city’ which is being developed at cost of US$5·5bn by the Qatar Foundation’s Msheireb Properties business with the aim of reviving Doha’s old commercial centre. The developer appointed US company TIG/m to design, build, operate and maintain the tramway, which is intended to reduce car usage by providing a convenient travel option including a connection with the future metro network.

Trams will run anti-clockwise around the single-track loop, which will have nine stops and a 400 m ‘hop-on, hop-off’ zone. Services will run every 6 min between 06.00 and 01.00 from Sunday to Thursday, and between 13.00 and 01.00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Trams will have priority at junctions, there will be real-time passenger information, and no fares will be charged.

TIG/m’s factory in California has produced three single-section 1 435 mm gauge trams for the line. These are powered by onboard batteries and incorporate regenerative braking. Ancilliary power is provided by an LNG generator.

‘This is a very exciting project for us,’ said TIG/m President Brad Read. ‘This project is creating green jobs for our community in California and it furthers our mission of providing sustainable, ecologically friendly transit systems around the world.’