Engines for Light Rail to be selected very shortly

DUBAI — The first rail engines to chug across the sands of the Southern Arabian Peninsula this century will soon be selected, according to the promoters of the $3.89 billion Dubai Light Rail Project.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 12 Sep 2004, 12:46 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:46 PM

The ambitious project, which aims to connect various parts of the mushrooming city of Dubai in the UAE, is presently in the tendering stage, according to promoter Dubai Municipality.

“The Dubai Light Rail Project is currently in the tendering stage,” said Qassim Sultan, Director General of Dubai Municipality, while explaining about the status of the project.

“The estimated cost of the project is Dh14.3 billion ($3.89) billion. However, the actual cost of the project will only be known after the tenders have been announced, and that should be fairly soon,” Sultan said.

He added that the Main Contractor for the project is in the process of being finalised.

“Though the project is extremely sophisticated and requires an extremely high level of expertise even on the international scale, Dubai Municipality’s current schedule of the project envisages that site preparation and ground works could start in another six-month time. This, of course, will ultimately be decided by the qualification of the main contractor,” said the Dubai Municipality Director General.

He said that apart from the appraisal process for the tender, the Supreme Committee in charge of the Dubai Light Rail project is busy evaluating various related sub-projects such as the sourcing of the rail engines and the cars that are to carry the passengers across the city of Dubai.

“The passenger rail system will run on the Southern Arabian Peninsula for the first time. Early in the 20th century, the Hejaz network used to operate in the north. We are busy evaluating various options and equipment. We are expected to very soon announce the name of the company and the country from which we will source the train engines and cars,” said the Dubai Municipality Director General.

Each train will be approximately 75 metres long, consisting of five cars, with numerous double doors allowing fast and smooth flows of passengers at stations. They will be driverless, fully automated, offering an extremely safe and reliable service with trains which could run as often as one every minute and a half, with extensive window panels providing stunning views from the elevated sections over the cityscape.

“The Dubai Light Rail Project was born out of the visionary directives of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence, who foresaw the need to put in place modern and up-to-date Intelligent Transportation Systems to cater to the rapidly burgeoning city of Dubai, which expects 15 million visitors by 2010,” said Sultan.

Dubai has seen a major spurt of growth since the mid-1990s, and particularly since the establishment of projects such as the Dubai Media City and the Dubai Internet City, which have attracted large numbers of new global, regional and local entrepreneurs and their staff. The city’s built-up area has been further expanded with the opening of the property sector to 100 per cent foreign freehold ownership in major waterfront projects, explained Nasser Saeed, Chairman of Dubai Light Rail Project.

“Just 10 years ago, Jebel Ali was considered far away by the residents and visitors of Dubai. Now residential mini-cities have sprung up deep into the desert and there is no more place left up to the approach of Jebel Ali Free Zone,” he added.

“With this kind of growth, we needed to put in place, from now on, an Intelligent Transportation System, that could cater to the influx of visitors and the thousands of residents and workers who live and commute daily between old Dubai and the new growth corridor extending up to and beyond Jebel Ali. The Dubai Light Rail Project was the answer,” explained Nasser Saeed.

Where the two rail lines will run

DUBAI — The Dubai Light Rail Network will comprise two lines: The Red Line will initially run from close to 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 initially run from close to Dubai Municipality to Rashidiya bus station through Deira City Centre and the Airport Terminals 1 and 3, and will progressively be extended to serve the Deira and Bur Dubai central areas and Souks up to BurJuman and Wafi shopping centres. A possible extension of the Green Line from Wafi to the Dubai Festival City is under study.

The two lines will total nearly 70km, with 35 stations along the 50km-long Red Line, and 22 stations along the 20km-long Green Line. The two transfer stations at Al Ittihad Square and BurJuman are common to both lines. In total, the Dubai Light Rail System will include 55 stations, 18km of tunnels, 51km of viaduct, one major train depot, maintenance facilities site and several auxiliary stabling facilities. The total fleet size will be slightly in excess of 100 trains.

Once in full operation, the Dubai Metro System is projected to carry approximately 1.2 million passengers on an average daily, and 355 million passengers per year.

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