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First Sufouh tram to arrive in late 2013.

Dubai: The first of eight tram train sets expected for the first phase of the Sufouh Tram project will arrive in Dubai on December 11 from a manufacturing facility in France, said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority, yesterday (Saturday).

Al Tayer shared the good news as part of an inspection tour of the Sufouh Tram site now under construction to install a 14.6-kilometre tram way along Al Sufouh Road that will encourage motorists to leave their car behind in favour of public transit.

Production of the tram sets has hit the 30 per cent completion mark, Al Tayer said, as he and RTA senior officials involved in the project were shown the elevated track, stations, and utility lines diversion points.

Adnan Al Hammadi, CEO of the Rail Agency, briefed Al Tayer on the project noting that it is on track for completion by the fourth quarter of 2014 and that more than 50 per cent of the work is now finished.

Roughly a quarter of tram stations are complete, about one-third of the rail tracks are completed and foundation works in the tram depot have exceeded 90 per cent completion.

Al Hammadi said, "Al Sufouh Tramway extends 14.6km alongside Al Sufouh Road, and the initial phase 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 eight trams in the initial phase, and 17 trams will be added in Phase II, such that the total number of operating trams will be beefed up to 25 trams. The tram is expected to lift in the initial phase about 3,500 passengers per hour per direction, and the ridership is bound to pick up in phase II to around 5,200 passengers per hour per direction. Each tram measures 44 metres in length and has a capacity to accommodate about 300 passengers. The tram has a First Class (Gold Suite) and one cabin designated for ladies and children as well as a Silver Class car. The tram's carriages and stations will have a lavish and deluxe interior finishing, and will feature state-of-the-art technologies in the transmission and display of entertainment materials. The passenger lounge will span 44 metres and is set to be equipped with Automatic Fare Collection systems.

The tram track basically extends at-grade level along Al Sufouh Road but rises in an elevated section when passing across certain parts of the Dubai Marina for reasons dictated by urban structures of the locality. It links up with the Metro system in three stations along Shaikh Zayed Road via footbridges to ease the transit and transfer of passengers between the two modes. Al Sufouh 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 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.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 17, 2013
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