Wo Deutsche Bahn is inside, does not have to say Deutsche Bahn on it. The passenger only sees an indication that DB Engineering & Consulting, a company belonging to the state-owned corporation of the Federal Republic of Germany, was significantly involved in the planning of the Metro in Doha when doing more detailed research. And he doesn’t hear scary words like train cancellations, signal disruptions, delays and platform changes, not even in English or Arabic.
While everyone is angry at home, there is free travel on the red, gold and green lines in Qatar’s capital. At least between 6am and 3am. Only on Friday, which is like a Sunday here, do the 37 wards only open at 9 a.m. because of prayer. The stations are clean, although it currently handles 700,000 passengers a day.
Five of the eight stadiums can be reached every three minutes. The first thing to look at when boarding is always at the head of the train, to see if the coveted, special seats are still free. There, every passenger feels like a driver – who doesn’t even exist on the autonomous train. The view of the route is worth seeing. During the World Cup, the division into Gold Club (first class), Family (families and women traveling alone) and Standard (everyone else) was abolished, so that the weary fan – or reporter – can sink into a comfortable armchair.
Ticket inspectors do not disturb, the ticket is already checked when entering the station. A kind of 49-euro ticket is already available here; it’s called “Hayya Card” during the World Cup. Many multilingual screens and announcements help you not to lose your way, especially when everything is concentrated at the Msheireb junction. The helpers from the “Event Team” in their blue tops are eager to show everyone – whether they want to or not – which platform door the guest should wait at. So much service initially disturbed us as troubled German train drivers.
Now, however, a funny antiphon has leveled off with the signallers, which is not known from train stations but from football stadiums. Some call out: “Metro?” And others answer enthusiastically: “This way!” Train travel can also be a lot of fun.