The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on Sunday embarked on the technical trial run of the Dubai Tram on a track extending 2.5 km from the Tram Depot at Al Safouh.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, was delighted with this step which is considered a milestone in the construction of the Dubai Tram project, adding that the technical trial run would continue till the official operation of the tram service in the final quarter of this year. The test track would be expanded in the near future to cover the entire tramway, he noted.
“Road users will start to see the Dubai Tram on the move on roadsides at Al Safouh, Jumeirah Beach Residence and the Marina. The tram track will intersect with vehicular & pedestrian traffic at certain points; which warrants motorists in particular and road users in general to be more attentive and compliant with the rules and regulations governing the tram operation, and adhere to the directional signage in place to ensure streamlined traffic movement,” explained Al Tayer.
“During the experiment the tram moved at varying speeds and tests were conducted covering the safety systems, power propulsion of tram carriages, brake system, sudden braking during emergencies, ground electrical feed along the tram track, overhead power feed used in the Depot, and the tram’s doors operation.
“During the technical trial run, tests were conducted to ensure the readiness of the train along with the functioning and performance of all control systems under all conditions. Tests covered a wide range of issues such as the air-conditioning system, electrical feed & braking system, coupling of tram coaches, disconnecting power supply, rail surveillance & control system, and testing the train under normal as well as emergency conditions,” elaborated Al Tayer.
“The technical trial run made for the tram in the depot was all success. The tram moved smoothly without wobbling or noises as it is powered by ground electrical feed stretching along the track. The Dubai Tram is considered the first of its type outside Europe powered by ground feed with no catenary cables involved,” he further added.
The Dubai Tramway extends 14.6 km alongside Al Sufouh Road, and the initial Phase of the project envisages 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 and spread across activity and population density areas along the tramway. The fleet comprises 11 trams in the initial phase, and 14 trams will be added in Phase II to make a total of 25 operating trams. The tram is expected to lift about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations in the initial phase in 2014, and the ridership is bound to pick up 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. The tram's carriages & stations will have deluxe interior finishing, and feature state-of-the-art technologies in the transmission and display of entertainment materials, with a passenger platform extends 44 meters.
The terminal is fitted with a glazed barrier extending along the platform and automated opening & shutting doors, along with automated fare collection systems.
The tram track basically extends at grade level along Al Sufouh Road but rises in an elevated section passing across certain parts of Dubai Marina due to the urban constructions in the locality. It links up with the Metro system at 2 stations, namely Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers via footbridges to facilitate the mobility and exchange of passengers between the two transit modes.
The Tram will also be linked with the Monorail of The Palm Jumeirah at the entrance of the Palm from Al Sufouh Road to facilitate passenger movement between districts served by both modes.
Al Sufouh Tram is considered 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. It is also the world's first tramway that uses Platform Screen Doors in passenger stations fully synchronized with the tram's doors opening and shutting mechanism, providing maximum convenience, safety and security for passengers, and at the same time protecting the quality of the air-conditioning in the interior of both stations and carriages from external climatic conditions.