Make way for the tram

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By Derek Baldwin, Senior Reporter www.gulfnews.com  XPRESS

Dubai : Residents of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai Marina and Jumeirah will travel in comfort and style starting April 2011 on new seven-car trams capable of carrying 300 passengers and maintaining a six-minute headway, XPRESS has learnt.

Ready to roll: An artist’s impression of a Citadis 402 train on display at the Gulf Traffic Conference Image Credit: Virendra Saklani
Ready to roll: An artist’s impression of a Citadis 402 train on display at the Gulf Traffic Conference Image Credit: Virendra Saklani

The trams are part of the Dh3.3 billion Al Sufouh Tram Project by French train maker Alstom which is building the Citadis 402 train sets in France, for shipment to Dubai.

The contract for the system was awarded by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to a consortium comprising Alstom, Belgium-based Besix, Serco from UK and Parsons from the US.

The double-tracked tram system will link upscale quarters such as JBR, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah and have 19 stations, three of which will be connected to the Dubai Metro stations of Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Marina and Mall of the Emirates.

A total of 25 train sets will be manufactured to shuttle up to 5,200 people per hour, per day.

For the 9.5-kilometre phase one of the project, 11 trams will operate in a counter-clockwise direction, east to west, transporting 200,000 residents and workers between home, work and shopping destinations.

The trams will operate at ground level, unlike the Dubai Metro.

“The trains are already under construction in Bordeaux, France, and look very similar in appearance to Dubai Metro trains,” said an RTA official. “But they are obviously much lighter.”

Components of the tram were touted by the RTA at the Gulf Traffic Conference this week at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (DICEC).

A 3-D miniature model of the new multimodal tram station was unveiled at the conference. The rendering shows the three tram stations linked to pedestrian bridges from existing Metro stations on Shaikh Zayed Road.

SPECIFICATIONS

Low external and internal noise levels

Easy passenger access via large, evenly distributed doors

Spacious multi-purpose areas for bicycles and luggage

Provisions for mobility-impaired passengers can be adapted to meet specific needs

Length, 40 metres

Carrying capacity 300 passengers – 70 seated, 230 standing