Video: This is how Dubai Metro's driverless trains run like clockwork

Nilanjana Gupta (Senior Web Journalist / Videographer)/Dubai Filed on September 20, 2017 | Last updated on September 20, 2017 at 04.33 pm
Video: This is how Dubai Metros driverless trains run like clockwork

Here's an inside look at the Operation Control Centre located at Rashidiya depot..

The Dubai Metro has been plying for more than eight years. It has served more than 1 billion riders till the end of August 2017 since its inception in September 2009. As many as 689 million riders took the Red Line and 339 million riders were served by the Green Line during that period.

At 72 km, it also holds the record for the world's longest automated driverless metro line. 

Mohammed Al Mudharreb, Director of Rail Operations, RTA Dubai said, "Driverless trains have better punctuality and adherence to timetable management. We remove a lot of human error from the system. We run with a headway of nearly two-and-a-half minutes. No system in the world is capable of running with such an aggressive headway with a driver." 

But do you know how the Metro runs like clockwork day after day without human interference?

The Operation Control Centre (OCC), considered to be the 'brain' of the Dubai Metro, is located at the Rashidiya depot. What's surprising is that just 15 people, including four train controllers, run the entire system. There's also a backup of the Operation Control Centre in Jebel Ali. 

The control room comprises train controllers, depot controllers, information controllers and engineering controllers. 

Mudharreb said, "The train controllers in the OCC are the first responders to anything that happens on the ground. They respond to the information being requested by people onboard. Through the CCTV cameras, they monitor any delay or fault in the train. If we have any emergency, for instance, a security threat or an injury onboard, a train controller can immediately suspend the entire service by pressing the red button." 

Here's a look inside the Operation Control Centre at the Rashidiya depot. 


Nilanjana Gupta

As a multimedia journalist, I consider it a privilege to tell the stories of people in the UAE and allow the world to meet the people with whom their paths may never cross. I am a graduate of the Broadcast and Digital Journalism master's programme at Syracuse University in New York. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I interned with Al Jazeera English in Washington DC and worked as a senior news desk editor with CNN-IBN in Delhi.

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