By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Around 44 trains out of total 62 trains will run on the Red Line at the time of the metro launch on September 9, Gulf News has learnt.
A total of 79 trains will be used on the Red and the Green Lines to carry around 27,000 passengers per hour per direction once the metro is fully operational in March next year.
“Initially, we will launch operations starting with the capacity of around 6,300 passengers per hour per direction with fewer trains on the track,” a senior official said.
“All the stations are not yet ready but we hope to open 17 to 22 stations out of the total 29,” the official confided to Gulf News.
The RTA will announce the exact number of stations to be opened later this month.
“The completion of work of the stations is now way beyond deadline because all the stations should have been ready and handed over to the operator in early July to make them ready for the operation as the operator also need time to install and check the systems to ensure smooth operations.
“The construction work on majority of the stations is still incomplete, although some of them are getting final touches,” said the official.
However, he said that it was normal for such a mega project. The Dubai Metro project is the world’s longest driverless project which is being completed in a record time of just 49 months.
He said that metro track was fully ready and trains would run on full length of the 52.1km of the Red Line between Al Rashidiya Station and Jebel Ali Free Zone Station.
More than 15 stations have already been handed over to Serco – a UK based company – which has been given the contract for the metro operations for the first 10 years.
“Currently, the operator [Serco] is busy making the metro stations ready for the operation,” he said, but did not give details about the stations which will not be opened.
Meanwhile, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has directed the contractors for the Dh15.5 billion initial contract cost project to double up their efforts to complete the stations before the launching time.
Al Tayer, who has been personally visiting the under construction metro stations, has reportedly been furious with the contractor for not completing the work as schedule.
Recently, he along with senior team members from the RTA’s Rail Agency including its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdul Majid Al Khaja inspected the work progress of Al Rashidiya, City Centre, Union Square, Financial Centre, Mall of the Emirates and Jumeirah Lakes metro stations.
Al Tayer inspected the final touches carried out by the project contractor in several stations and checked functions of escalators and lifts and interior lighting.
He also reviewed the results of the technical trial run of the metro trains including their communication systems, auto operation systems, power supplies, air-conditioning, on-board electronics, signalling and lighting systems, and integration and co-ordination tests between various sub-systems and components.
He inspected the pedestrian crossings linking the metro stations on Shaikh Zayed Road.
He also checked the arrangements made for the public transport buses and taxi ranks in each station in addition to directional signage and other related matters.
Inauguration: Operational stations
The stations, which are sure to open at the launch: Al Rashidiya Station, one out of the two stations at the Dubai International Airport, City Centre Station, Al Rigga Station; Union Square (interchange) Station, BurJuman Station (interchange), Karama Station, Al Jafiliya Station, Trade Centre Station, Financial Centre Station, Burj Dubai Station. Nakheel Harbour and Towers Stations (with free parking facilities); Jebel Ali Industrial Station, The Mall of Emirates; Business Bay; Al Qouz Station; Dubai Inernet City Station; Jumeirah Lake Towers Station, Ibn Battuta Mall Station.
Some more stations are also likely to be ready at the time of launching.