November opening set for Arabia’s first tram system

By Edmund O’Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events

Initial tests have been successfully completed

“The technical trial run made for the tram in the depot was a success,” says Mattar Al Tayer, RTA chairman of the board and executive director.“The tram moved smoothly without wobbling or noises…”

In November 2014, Arabia’s first tram system will startoperating in the city of Dubai to start a new era for MiddleEast mass passenger transport.The Dubai Tram line will ultimately run from the Mall ofthe Emirates to Dubai Marina.

It supplements the highlysuccessfulDubai Metro Red and Green Lines, opened inSeptember 2009, and constitutes an important furtherdevelopment in Dubai’s mass transport system. The Dubai Tram is just one of the projects that will featureat MEED’s
10th MENA Rail & Metro Projects conference at the Conrad Hotel in Dubai on 20-22 October.

It was originally planned for completion together withthe first phase of the Dubai Metro in September 2009.Dubai’s financial problems prompted a decision topostpone the opening until 2012. The Road & TransportAuthority (RTA) is now racing to ensure trams will berunning by the new target opening date.

The low noise level is because Dubai Tram ispowered by ground feed with no catenarycables. It’s the first time this technology hasbeen used outside Europe.The ultimate plan is for the tramway toextend 14.6km. Its initial phase is a 10.6 km long track from the Dubai Marina and to thetram depot near Dubai Police Academy at the junction of Shaikh Zayed road and Umm Suqeim Road.

On 5 July, Dubai’s ruler Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashedal-Maktoum announced plans for the academy site tobe redeveloped into one of the world’s largest integratedretail and leisure complexes.The trams route will take passengers pastsome of Dubai’s leading landmarks. It joins theJumeirah Beach road at the junction with Al-Rashastreet.

It then heads south past Dubai College, Knowledge Village, the Palm Jumeirah to the Mina Seyahi Hotel. Here the track turns to the eastern perimeter of the Dubai Marina and follows an elevated section for almost 2kms.

At the southern end of themarina, the tramway heads west for a kilometre beforeturning north through the marina and the re-crossing themarina to rejoin the elevated section. The system linkswith Dubai Metro at Dubai Marina and Jumeirah LakesTowers and it connects with the Palm Jumeirah Monorailat the entrance of the Palm.

The tram system, which will operate initially from 5am until 1am the following day, isdesigned to relieve rush-hour congestion inthe Marina area but there’s no doubt it is also aimed at tourists and other visitors to Dubai. The rollingstock combines comfort as well as efficiency.

Each train is 44 meters long and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 riders. There will be a first class cabin, a ladies and children cabin and silver class. Eleven tram trains will be used in the initial phase and 14 trams will be added in the second.

They are expected to lift about 27,000 riders a day at the start of operations. This is projected to rise to 66,000 riders a day by 2020.

The conversation about the US$300bn MENA rail and metro industry will be continued at MEED’s
10th Annual MENA Rail & Metro Summit this October in Dubai.

Download the Agenda
to find out who will be speaking and what case studies and topics of discussion will be covered.

For more information on the Summit:

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