x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Dubai's Al Sufouh trams begin testing phase in France

Mattar Al Tayer, director of the emirate's RTA, was on hand for the trial run of the new tram at the Alstom Company in France.

The test run of Al Sufouh Tram conducted on a 700 km-long track in the facilities of Alstom Company in France. Photo courtesy of RTA
The test run of Al Sufouh Tram conducted on a 700 km-long track in the facilities of Alstom Company in France. Photo courtesy of RTA

DUBAI // A tram to be used on Al Sufouh line has had a trial run on a test track at the French base of its manufacturer, Alstom.

The tram was tested at various speeds to ensure its safety and operating systems worked properly.

Officials from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) watched on, including its chairman and executive director, Mattar Al Tayer.

“This test run is a milestone in the implementation of Al Sufouh tramway project,” said Mr Al Tayer.

“The technical test run is intended to assess and verify the readiness of the tram, as well as the performance of all control systems, in all conditions.”

The tests will continue until the tram is shipped to Dubai, he said.

Once finished, Al Sufouh Tramway will extend 14.6km along Al Sufouh Road.

The first phase will be to build a 10.6km track from Dubai Marina to a station near the Police Academy.

The tram will link up to the Dubai Metro at three stations along Sheikh Zayed Road, and to the Palm Jumeirah Monorail.

For the opening, eight of the trams will be in use.

Manal Hashim, who lives in Jumeirah Beach Residence, hoped the tram would help to remedy the traffic problems in the area.

“It takes forever just to get out in the morning and many times I’ve given up trying to get back home,” Ms Hashim said. “I find something to do nearby or just kill time at a coffee shop.

“But other than the roads it’s a great place to live. I hate the roadworks but at the same time I feel that once it’s finished, the tram will really improve transport in the area and even reduce traffic. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”

The RTA expects the tram to carry about 27,000 passengers a day when it starts next year, increasing to 66,000 a day by 2020.

Mr Al Tayer said the tramlinewould be the first outside of Europe to eliminate the need for overhead cables by connecting to power from the ground.

“It is also the first tramway to use platform screen doors in stations that are fully aligned with the tram doors’ opening and shutting mechanism,” he said.

malkhan@thenational.ae