No matter how advanced the world gets and things change, there are some things that should always be respected and maintained. An area’s culture, history, and local craft traditions are some of these things. Many countries work hard to never let go of their culture and heritage, and infuse their local ideals into modern innovations.
One such example is the recently unveiled design for Doha’s new Metro cars with the Lusail Light Rail Transit vehicles. While designing these vehicles, inspiration was taken from the ocal culture and Doha's famous Arabian mares. This horse-inspired metro rail is designed to be one of the most high-speed, driverless trains in the world.
Tradition Meets Modern
The metro trains owe their name, Al Faras, to the Arabian mares famous for their racing skills. The company behind the project, Qatar Rail, says that the name was chosen because it depicts speed and intelligence. The trains are a combination of modern technology and Doha’s heritage. The interiors are designed based on the architecture of Doha, while the fronts are highly inspired by horses. The overall shape of the trains, which is quite dynamic, references the shape of a horse. The windows are meant to be reminiscent of horse’s eyes. All of these subtle design decisions have lead to a vehicle that is very interesting and appealing. It is a unique design that marries the concepts of critical regionalism and modern technology.
Every vehicle is to have a total of three cars. Two of these will be standard class, comprising of 88 seats in total, while one will be a combination of Gold and Family classes, with 16 and 26 seats respectively.
The Elegance of a Dhow
The second part of the project is the design of the Lusail Light Rail Transit trams. These too are also inspired by the local culture of Doha. The elegance of the design is based on a traditional dhow that is used to fish for pearls in Doha.
A total of 38 Citadis trams, manufactured by Alstom, will run on the 33km long tramway being constructed. The trams are designed to first and foremost provide comfort for all passengers, while also being ble to withstand extreme weather.
Alstom is the proud company behind the Citadis trams. Over 1,800 such trams run globally, all made by the same company. Each of these have its own design based on the culture of the city it runs in. It is a smart thing for Qatar Rail to have chosen Alstom for this project, as their experience with merging tradition and modern luxury design has helped immensely in the design of these vehicles.
The completion of the horse-inspired metro rail is expected for 2019-20, and the tramway is expected to be completed in 2020. While the project as a whole may not seem like anything new, the thinking behind the design of the vehicles surely is. It is a perfect blend of Doha’s culture and tradition with modern technology and materials, making the trains not only some of the fastest in the world but also some of the most beautiful and culturally relevant.