Dubai's RTA chief happy with Al Sufouh testing

Transport boss sees technical tests of trams in France ahead of arrival in Dubai in December
An artists impression of the Al Sufouh tram project
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 19 Jun 2013 12:08 PM

Dubai's transport chief has hailed the performance of the trains which will operate on the Al Sufouh Tram project after seeing them tested in France.

Mattar Al Tayer, chairman and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said he has watched the technical test run conducted on a 700km-long track in the facilities of Alstom.

During the trial run, which was done at various speeds, tests were carried out covered the safety system, electric propulsion system of the tram coaches, braking system, sudden stop during emergency cases, ground power feed of the tram track, overhead power feed in the Depot, and doors operation mechanism, a statement said.

"This test run is a milestone in the implementation of Al Sufouh Tramway Project," said Al Tayer.

"The technical test run is intended to assess and verify the readiness of the tram and the functionality as well as the performance of all control systems at all conditions," he said in the statement, adding that tests would continue until the tram is finally shipped to Dubai later this year.

Al Tayer said that the test was "successful in every respect", adding that the tram motion was "smooth, and free from vibrations, noises or disturbance".

Once the trams start arriving in Dubai in December, the RTA will commission other trial tests at the track site and these tests will roll on till the official launch of the tram service in November 2014.

The initial phase is pencilled for completion in the last quarter of 2014 while the overall project completion rate has touched 52 percent, the statement added.

Eight trams will operate in the initial phase and are expected to lift about 3,500 passengers per hour per direction.

Each tram measures 44 metres in length and has a capacity to carry about 300 passengers. They will have a First Class (Gold Suite) section and one cabin designated for women and children.

The project, which is being constructed by Alstom-Besix Consortium, was originally scheduled to be completed in 2011, but has been plagued by cash concerns in the wake of the global financial crisis and the first phase is now set for completion in 2014.

Designed to stretch 14km along Al Sufouh Road, the tram is set to be the world’s first to run with ground power feeding the entire line, eliminating the need for overhead wires.

The first phase of the project will span 10.6km and cost AED4bn, and will see 11 of the network’s 17 stations open to the public.

On completion, the tram will link with the Dubai Metro at three stations along Sheikh Zayed Road and will also tie-up with the monorail on the Palm Jumeirah.

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