By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Dubai: The Dubai Metro ride will not be a roller-coaster experience as many expect after having seen the elevated track snaking up and down along Shaikh Zayed Road, said a senior official.
“It is a misconception as people just say such things based on their visual experience of the elevated track going up and down at certain locations on Shaikh Zayed Road,” Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad, Director of Rail Operations, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told Gulf News.
He said the Metro ride would be so smooth that the passengers will not even feel it.
“The slope or elevation on any track is about 4 centimetres per metre, as per the international standards, and the passengers cannot feel it. Also the speed of the trains is quite gentle,” he said.
He said people are just noticing the variation of height of the elevated tracks, and added that it is the same for the underground tracks.
“The tracks are built [in a] similar way due to design issues and right of way because there are so many interchanges and bridges on the road and we have to make way for the track adjusting its height,” he explained and added that the elevated tracks have been built after considering all aspects to ensure a smooth ride.
The Metro trains can run at a maximum 110 km/h, but the average speed will be 40 to 45 km/h due to the large number of stations.
“The average speed is so gentle that passengers will not feel the ride,” said another senior official.
The trains will operate from 5 in the morning to 1 the next morning.
A train will arrive at a station every three to four minutes during peak hours. The time between trains will increase to five to six minutes during off-peak hours and to 15 minutes when the traffic is very low. There will also be 12 spare trains.
The track for the Red line is ready from Al Rashidiya Metro Station to Jebel Ali Station and the trains are now being tested on the full length of the track.
The 52.1 kilometre Red line of the total 76 kilometre driverless Metro system is scheduled to open on September 9 and the Green line will open in March next year.
Although the contract for the operation and maintenance of the Metro has been awarded for 10 years to Serco Middle East, a UK based company which is running operations for the Docklands Light Railway in London, among others, the RTA will monitor the Dubai Metro operations.