A new set of trains with new features and greater capacity will join Dubai Metro to serve the existing two lines, as well as the still-under-construction Route 2020, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Saturday.
Joining the 79 trains that currently serve the red and green lines, the 50 new trains will be part of the Dubai Metro fleet, 35 of which will serve the existing lines, while 15 will operate on Route 2020.
The new trains will be manufactured by French firm Alstom, which also built the trains for Dubai Tram, and will feature an exterior similar to existing trains but the interior will be whole lot different, with plenty of passenger-friendly features including more seating and standing space, better handles, a new improved luggage compartment and many more.
The statement came following a visit by a high-level RTA team to France. The team included Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA; Ahmad Behroozian, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agengy, Abdul Mohsin Ebrahim, CEO of RTA’s Rail Agency, and others.
The delegation checked on the progress of manufacturing, besides reviewing the latest developments in transit modes and smart systems in a bid to realise the 10 X initiative of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The initiative aims to sustain the competitive edge of Dubai, while preparing the city for the future through innovative ideas and solutions that are 10 years ahead of other cosmopolitan cities.
“The RTA has introduced some additions and modifications to the interior design of the metro carriages, such as dedicating the last carriage for ladies and children and leaving part of the first carriage for the Gold Class and other carriages for Silver Class,” said Al Tayer.
He added that the seats will be transversal in the Gold Class, and longitudinal in the Silver Class and in the Ladies and Children Carriage.
Though, the specifications of the interior will change, Al Tayer said that the exterior design of will remain as it is to maintain the design identity of the Dubai Metro and the colours the public is familiar with.
“Changes include revamping a few things without affecting the identity through new designs for the handles, lighting, and locations of digital signage (VBSD). They also include an illuminated dynamic map for the metro route and stations, using [an] LED power-saving lighting system, and modifying the design of the luggage compartment to make it usable by standing commuters,” said Al Tayer.
The improvements, according to Al Tayer, will also cover the shape and the number of handles, the use of modern digital display systems, the distribution of seats at the two sides of the train, in addition to increasing the gangway connecting between carriages.
The new carriages are also customised for ease of use by People of Determination and will allow for the smooth boarding and alighting of riders.
Work on the 15km-long Route 2020 began in the fourth quarter of 2016, with piling and casting of concrete pillars currently underway.
“Work [on] Route 2020 project is progressing according to the approved schedule and the achievement rate has exceeded 12 per cent. The contractor is currently inserting piles at a depth of 25 to 30 metres, and work has started in casting [the] concrete pillars of the metro viaduct. This stage would be a milestone in the progress chart of the project, marking the emergence of the project components, which would be visible to road users and inhabitants of nearby areas,” said Al Tayer.
Beginning from Nakheel Harbour and Tower station, the Dh10.6b route passes through areas like The Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Gold Estates and Dubai Investments Park, passing along Mohammad Bin Zayed road and ending at the site of Expo 2020, with the provision to extend up to Al Maktoum International Airport.
Served by seven stations, including an interchange station, one station at the Expo site, three elevated stations and two underground stations, the route has a capacity to accommodate 46,000 riders per hour in both directions.
The route is expected to serve 125,000 riders per day in 2020, carrying 35,000 passengers to the Expo on weekdays and 47,000 passengers on weekends, which is likely to be 20 per cent of the total daily visitors to Expo 2020.
The existing lines of the metro currently carry 550,000 passengers daily.
During the French visit the RTA delegation also explored the latest technologies in transportation and smart systems.
Among the things explored are Transit-Oriented Development projects, the latest technologies in variable signage, as well as the Bluely frim’s smart car-sharing and smart rental of electric vehicles.
The delegation also inspected the autonomous bus manufactured by Navya and attended a briefing about the smart solutions and systems offered in the bus, which accommodates 12 riders.
Among the other options reviewed are the driverless tram and the electric bus (APTIS), characterised by a low integrated floor and seamless panoramic 360° views. The bus features simple maintenance processes, a longer lifespan, and saves 25 per cent of the space need for turns at curves due to 4-wheel steering, rendering them better for use in cities.