Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads '&' Transport Authority (RTA), announced that the first vehicle of Al Sufouh Tram will arrive Dubai on 11 December 2013, after undergoing a technical experimental test on a test track at the facilities of the manufacturing company, adding that the production of the Tram's vehicles at the factory in France had almost hit 30%.
Al Tayer made this announcement during an inspection tour of the project site, accompanied by the CEO of Rail Agency Adnan Al Hammadi, Director of Rail Planning '&' Projects Development Abdul Rida Abu Al Hassan, and a cohort of engineers from the Rail Agency and the Project Contractor.
During the visit, Al Tayer inspected the work progress in various parts of the Project, particularly the elevated track, stations, and utility lines diversion points.
Al Tayer was briefed by Al Hammadi on the completion rates in various components of the Project which is progressing according to the approved schedule where the initial phase is pencilled for completion in the last quarter of 2014. The overall project completion rate has touched 52%, stations completion rate is about 26%, rail tracks completion rate is hovering around 32%, foundation works in the tram depot exceeded 90%, and completion rate in the overall depot works is 8%.
Highlighting the Project, which is being constructed by Alstom-Besix Consortium, Al Hammadi said: "Al Sufouh Tramway extends 14.6 km alongside Al Safouh 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 8 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 meters 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 '&' children as well as a Silver Class car. The tram's carriages '&' stations will have a lavish '&' 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 meters and is set to be equipped with Automatic Fare Collections 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 Sheikh 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.