By Mustafa Al Zarooni www.khaleejtimes.com
Dubai’s rail network is set for a massive expansion with the Red and Green lines extended, new lines added and with connections to the proposed Etihad Rail network across the Gulf countries.
Land has been procured for widening the existing network and new rail routes and infrastructure are expected to be completed by 2030 in three phases. They will cover an area of 421km with 197 stations, said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Three new Metro lines — Blue, Gold and Purple — and a Jumeirah tram route will be up and running by 2030. Besides these, the current Red and Green lines will grow longer and will serve a growing population in the densely populated urban areas of Dubai. “The plans have been endorsed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” said Al Tayer.
He hoped that once these rail routes are completed, 30 per cent of the residents in the emirate would use public transport.
Time schedules for the proposed lines, or stretches of them, have been set, as well as the estimated costs for executing the mammoth projects. “The general blueprint of the train network is in three phases — 2020, 2025 and 2030 — keeping in mind planned urban growth in the Emirate,” said Al Tayer.
RTA planners estimate Dubai’s population to exceed 3.1 million by 2020. In the first phase, train projects along a 24.1-km long corridor with 12 stations will be completed. The Green Line will cover Jaddaf to Dubai Academic City with 11 stations, a distance of 20.6km. Once the first phase of the extension work is complete, Dubai’s train network will have 109km over 70 stations.
Work on the second phase covering 91km and 58 stations will cost an estimated Dh45 billion, said the RTA chairman.
Dubai’s urban population is likely to swell to 4.1 million by 2025 and work on the Gold, Jumairah tram and the Purple lines are set to commence then. “When phase two is complete, the overall train network is likely to be 200km long with 128 stations,” he said.
An assessment of the completed projects will be made in 2030 and depending on the success of the infrastructure upgrades, passenger response, work on the final phase will begin. “So if Dubai’s population crosses six million, we may add another 221km of lines with 69 stations. This will extend the entire network to 421km with 197 stations,” Al Tayer said. More info