Work has begun on Qatar’s multibillion-dollar metro and ground rail projects, set to be completed in phases until 2016, and central to the emirate’s dreams of hosting the 2022 football World Cup.

The three projects – a metro network within Greater Doha, overground railways covering Qatar, and then links to the rest of the GCC region – are expected to cost as much as $40bn.

Metro rail project will cover a total distance of 354km and the trains will run at speeds of 80 to 160km per hour.

The ground rail network will cover a total distance of 345km and traverse the entire country, with electric passenger trains running at up to 350km per hour.

The network will be linked to the proposed GCC railway system by 2017.

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