Dubai Tramway on track to begin operations in Nov 2014

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Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced the arrival of the first Dubai tram coaches to Jebel Ali port in the middle of this week.

dubai al sufouh tram
Dubai Tram. Image courtesy-RTA

The tram consists of 7 coaches and constitutes the first batch of 11 trams in the first phase, with nearly 14 trams to be added in the second phase to make a total of 25 Trams.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority, said, “At the end of this month, the RTA will run the technical run of the tram in the depot’s rails, and the test run will then be carried out in distance of about 2 kilometers outside the depot.” He pointed out that this process would continue and expand gradually until the official operation of the tram later in November 2014.

Al Tayer added that the contractor has conducted the first technical test run of the tram on the 700-meter test track in Alstom Factory in France and has been undergoing various tests for various speeds, safety systems, electric propulsion of tram coaches, braking systems, sudden stop in emergency cases, and ground electric feed of the tram track, in addition to the catenary cables which will be used in the depot, and tram doors operation.

Dubai tram is the world’s first tramway project powered by a ground-based electric supply system extending along the track, thus obviating the need for catenary cables – which helps the tram move smoothly without wobble or noise.

The Dubai Tramway extends 14.6 km alongside Al Sufouh Road. Phase I involve the construction of a 10.6 km-long track starting from the Dubai Marina and stretching up to the Tram Depot near Dubai Police Academy. The Tram network comprises 17 passenger stations, 11 of which are covered under Phase I, along the densely populated areas.

The tram is expected to lift about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations in 2014, and the ridership is bound to hit 66,000 riders per day by 2020. Each train measures 44 meters in length and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 riders. The Tram has a First Class (Gold Suite) and one cabin designated for ladies & children as well as a Silver Class cabin.

Dubai tram links up with the Dubai Metro system at 2 stations, at the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. The Tram will also be linked with the Monorail of The Palm Jumeirah at the entrance of the Palm from Al Sufouh Road.

dubai tram network map
Dubai tram network map. Image courtesy-RTA

The planning and construction of the Al Sufouh Tram is being undertaken by a consortium of Alstom, Besix and Parsons. Phase I, was expected to be open in April 2011, however it was delayed until 2014 due to lack of finances. Upon completion it will have 11 trams and 13 stations running 10 km (6.2 mi). The phase I cost is estimated at AED 3.18 billion.

Dubai – Leading MENA’s sustainable transport systems

Dubai pioneered the concept of public transport in the MENA region by realising early the need for sustainable development. Hugely popular and success of Dubai Metro prompted neighbouring Saudi Arabia and Qatar to follow suit in building similar metro rail in Riyadh and Doha.

With the introduction of Dubai tram services, and its integration with Dubai Metro along with the feeder buses and water taxis, the Emirate’s passenger transport service is expected to be well connected, at least in the densely populated areas and around the city’s top tourist attractions.

Dubai Metro, which holds the Guinness World Records as the world’s longest fully automated metro network spanning at 75 kms, transported 33.3 million people in Q1 of 2013.

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