And you thought a metro was all there was to it? Dubai’s first tramway ready for test-run soon

4117The RTA will run the technical run of the tram in the depot’s rails, and the test run will then be carried out along a distance of about 2km.

The first of 25 trams has arrived in Dubai, with a test run scheduled at the tram depot by the end of the month. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said on Saturday the first tram coaches arrived at Jebel Ali port in the middle of last week, after they were shipped from France in the last week of November.

Each tram consists of seven coaches, with 11 trams due in the first phase of the tramway operation and a further 14 to be added later on.

RTA executive director, Mattar Al Tayer, said the RTA would undertake a technical run to check the tram in several weeks. “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 along a distance of about 2km outside the depot.”

He said the process would continue and expand gradually until the official operation of the tram later in November 2014.

“Over the past months, the contractor has conducted the first technical test run of the tram on the 700-metre test track in Alstom Factory in France. The tests included 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.”

he technical test run undertaken in the factory also ensured the readiness of the tram, including proper operation of all control systems such as the air-conditioning system, brakes electric feeding systems, and power supply disconnection in addition to operational tests of the tram during both normal and emergency operations.

Al Tayer said the test run conducted at the Alstom’s plant was successful and the tram moved smoothly without wobbles or noise. The 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.

The 14.6km Dubai Tramway extends along Al Sufouh Road in Jumeirah Beach Residence, and the initial phase of the project envisages the construction of a 10.6km long track starting from the Dubai Marina and stretching up to the Tram Depot near the Dubai Police Academy.

There will be 17 passenger stations, of which 11 will open in the first phase. Al Tayer said he expected the tram will carry 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 metres in length and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 riders. The tram has a First Class and one cabin designated for ladies and children, as well as a Silver Class cabin. The tram’s carriages and stations will have deluxe interior finishing, and feature state-of-the-art technologies in the transmission and display of entertainment materials, with a passenger lounge of 44 metres, fitted with a glass barrier extending along the platform, automatic doors and automatic fare collection system,” Al Tayer said.

The tramway links up with the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers metro stations, as well as the Palm Jumeirah monorail.

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