His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday attended the launch of the trial operation of Dubai Tram, which will be officially launched on November 11, 2014 as the first tramway project outside Europe to be powered by a ground-based electric supply system along the track thus obviating the need for catenary cables.
During the trial operation in Al Sufouh area, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
There, he toured the tram depot which consists of 11 eco-friendly buildings housing 25 trams trains, a maintenance and cleaning centre, and the operation control centre which also ensures the safe operation of trains, air conditioning and other electronic systems.
During the test run on board the tram train, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was briefed by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on the specifications of the 44-metre carriage which accommodates 405 passengers.
The initial phase of the project consists of a 10.6km-long track starting from the Dubai Marina and stretching up to the Tram Depot near Dubai Police Academy.
The Dubai Tram network consists of 17 passenger stations and a fleet of 11 trams in the initial phase. Fourteen trams will be added in Phase II to make a total of 25 operating trams.
The tram is expected to transport about 27,000 passengers per day at the start of operations in 2014, and the number of passengers is expected to increase to 66,000 per day by 2020.
Stopping at Station No 11, Sheikh Mohammed viewed the specifications of the tramline and the quality services offered to passengers at stations.
Each tram has seven coaches, including a gold suite and one cabin dedicated to women and children. It will be operated by Serco, the same company that manages the Dubai Metro.
Dubai Tram will connect big residential, commercial and tourism projects such as Dubai Marina, Media City, Internet City, Knowledge Village and a number of luxury hotels.
Sheikh Mohammed then took the tram to Station No 7 at the Mina Seyahi area, where he inspected one of the four air-conditioned pedestrian bridges connecting the station with the surrounding areas.
Concluding the test ride at Station No. 6 at Dubai Marina, Sheikh Mohammed expressed his admiration of the project and greeted the officials for the efforts they made in the construction of Tram Dubai which he said will be a new addition to the landmarks and tourist attractions of Dubai and UAE.
The tramline is also be aligned with the Dubai Metro and the Palm Jumeirah Monorail to encourage more commuters to use public transport.
Dubai Tram is also the world's first tramway to use platform screen doors (PSDs), in passenger stations, that are fully aligned 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.
The Dubai Tramway is being built in two phases.
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 and 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.