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Green light for Dubai’s dream train

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, March 17 - 2004 @ 08:46

“Look around you and you will see that the vision of our leaders is truly happening. If you have any doubts about whether Dubai needs a modern public transit infrastructure, I invite you to witness for yourself the dynamic growth that Dubai is experiencing,” said Qassim Sultan, Director-General of Dubai Municipality and Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Dubai Rail Project.

To increase travel demand during the past three decades, the municipality built 9,100 lane km of roads at a cost of Dh8.4 billion, and the emirate just cannot keep on expanding its roads, Nasser Ahmed Saeed, Director of Dubai Municipality’s Roads Department and General Co-ordinator for the rail project, pointed out in his presentation at the industry review meeting.

Dream Train
The Dubai Metro System will be built around top-of-the-class modern trains, fully air-conditioned and customised to meet the specific requirements of the emirate. Each train will be about 75 mtrs-long, consisting of 5 cars, with numerous double doors to allow fast and smooth flow of passengers at stations.

The trains will offer a standard class, which would be affordable to all, a women and children only section, as well as an exclusive first class section. All sections will have a high proportion of seats, and will be equipped with a modern passenger information system. The driverless trains will be fully automated, offering an extremely safe and reliable service, and the electrical traction system to be used for the trains is proven environment-friendly in terms of noise and gas emissions.

With frequencies as high as one every minute and a half, the fast travelling trains would have extensive window panels providing stunning views from the elevated sections over the cityscape.

Also there would be no visually intrusive overhead contact lines, thanks to the “third rail” connection system. The trains will use steel wheels or tyres running on a special double track for full guidance and support.

All stations will be equipped with Platform Screen Doors, ensuring optimal safety for passengers and allowing to fully air-conditioned stations, whether elevated or underground.

Metro Network
The Dubai Metro Network will comprise two lines, the Red Line and the Green Line. The Red Line will initially (Initial Operation Segment) run from Salahuddin Road (near Al Ghurair Centre) to the American University of Dubai through BurJuman and Shaikh Zayed Road, and will progressively be extended to Jebel Ali Port in the south and the intersection of Al Nahda and Damascus roads through Al Qiyadah intersection in the north.

The Green Line will, during the initial operation segment, ply between Al Ittihad Square (near the municipality) and Rashidiya bus station via Deira City Centre and the Airport Terminals 1 and 3, and will be extended to serve the Deira and Bur Dubai central areas up to BurJuman and Wafi shopping centres.

Totalling 70km, the two lines will have 55 stations in all – 35 along the 50 km long Red Line, and 22 stations along the 20km long Green Line. The two transfer stations at Al Ittihad Square and BurJuman would be common to both lines. A possible extension of the Green Line from Wafi to the projected Festival City development is currently under study.

The two lines will run underground in the heart of the city – the Red Line from the intersection of Shaikh Rashid and Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed roads to just before the intersection of Salahuddin and Abu Bakr Al Siddique roads, while the Green Line from Garhoud to Oud Metha Road.

The rest of the networks, involving both the Red and the Green Lines, will run elevated on a specially designed viaduct, whose design and aesthetics are being developed specifically to actually enhance the urban architecture along its corridor. In no location will the tracks cross the public highway, ensuring a fully safe mode segregation.

In its entirety the metro system will have 18km of tunnels, 51km of viaduct, one major train depot and maintenance facilities site and several auxiliary stabling facilities, while the total fleet size is expected to be slightly in excess of 100 trains.

Integrated Public Transit Network
The Metro network will be fully integrated within the overall Public Transit network operated by the civic body’s Public Transport Department. Bus routes and stops will be organised around the backbone provided by the rail system, extending its reach into all communities in the emirate. Taxi stations and Park and Ride facilities will be included in key metro stations to further enhance the central role of the Metro System.

To enable smooth movement across Dubai public transit network, fare policies and collection systems will be common to the bus and rail networks, including generalising the recently introduced e-Go smart card. Also the fare levels will be kept accessible to all users.

The construction works are expected to start in a few years, with the Initial Operation Segment opening revenue service approximately in 2009, while it is expected that the two lines could be fully open three years later.

One of the main objectives of the engineering studies is to minimise the impact of the project on road traffic, and more generally, on city life. Once in full operation, the Metro System is projected to carry approximately 1.2 million passengers on an average day, and 355 million passengers per year.

On the costs and revenue side, investment costs for the full Dubai Metro System, including civil works, stations, system fixed equipment, trains, engineering and financing, are assessed at a grand total of about Dh14.3 billion. The operating cost complete, inclusive of staff, maintenance, and power consumption, is estimated to be approximately Dh570 million annually.

The operating cost is planned to be easily met through fare box revenue and additional revenues derived from advertisement space, joint development or other sources that the civic body may assign.

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Wednesday, March 17- 2004 @ 8:46 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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