The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) yesterday began the technical trial runs of the new Dubai Tram starting from Al Sufouh Depot for a distance of 2.5km.
"We conducted the trial run to ensure the readiness of the tram along with the functioning and performance of all control systems under all conditions. The technical trial run is a milestone in the construction of the Dubai Tram project. It will continue without passengers until the official operation of the tram service in the final quarter of this year. The test track will be expanded in the near future to cover the entire tramway," said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA.
Dubai Tram, considered the world's first tramway project powered by a ground-based electric supply system extending along the track, is expected to transport about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations in the initial phase in 2014. The ridership is estimated to hit 66,000 riders per day by 2020, local English dailies reported today.
"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 suspended catenary cables involved," said Al Tayer.
Road users will now see the Dubai tram on the move on road sides at Al Sofouh, Jumeirah Beach Residence and the Marina. The tram track will intersect with vehicular and pedestrian traffic at certain points which requires motorists in particular and road users in general to be more attentive and aware of the rules and regulations governing the tram operation. "All must follow the directional signage in place to ensure streamlined traffic movement," said Al Tayer.
The Dubai Tram, also known as Al Sofouh Tram, is the world's first tramway that uses Platform Screen Doors in passenger stations fully synchronised 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.
He said the Dubai tramway extends 14.6km alongside Al Sofouh Road, and the initial phase of the project envisages the construction of a 10.6km-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. Fourteen trams will be added in Phase II to make a total of 25 operating trams.
The trial runs will continue daily and will expand their reach in three phases over the next few months, and phase one of the Dubai Tram will begin operations on November 14th, served by 11 trains and the same number of stations.
A batch of 11 trains arrived in Dubai last month, and the trial began following a month-long technical testing inside the depot.