Saturday, August 01, 2009

DUBAI METRO - 09-09-09 @ 09:09:09 a.m.

RTA launches Dubai Metro on 09-09-2009 - Wednesday (9 letters) at 09:09:09 a.m.

Dubai Metro is the Middle East’s first automated rail transport system and the world’s longest. As such it poses both unique challenges and opportunities for the FM provider Serco. Paul Collett speaks to Paul Anderson, managing director, Serco Dubai Metro, and Ali Abdul Kader, director, maintenance department, Rail Agency, RTA

Dubai is witnessing history in the making, just as Britain did 200 years ago when Richard Trevithick invented the steam railway locomotive, which, by the mid 1800s, mobilised some 30 million Britains. Fast forward to the 21st century, a city-state approaching its 37th birthday, and the concept of a public rail transport network is coming to fruition; something the rest of the world – developed and undeveloped – takes for granted.

Born of vision and necessity, the impact of the metro on Dubai’s populace and visitors in terms of travelling habits and mobility in general will help shape the emirate’s socioeconomic future.

Network service

The railway system is being constructed in two phases – the Red Line and the Green Line. The Red Line, which will be ready to roll on September 9th this year, is 52.1 km long and will run from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali, covering a span of 29 stations. The 22.5 km Green Line will run from Al Qusais to Jaddaf taking in 18 stations en route.

“This is the world’s longest driverless automated railway system, and a first for the Middle East,” says Ali Abdul Kader, director, maintenance department, Rail Agency, Rail and Transport Authority. “It is a huge project and one that has never been attempted in the Middle East before, so of course we have faced challenges. However, we met those challenges through fact finding trips to all the major cities including Paris, London and Singapore, to speak to the experts and see how they constructed, operated and maintained their metro systems.”

Bids were then put out to tender. “Bids included French transport company RATP, SPS and SMRT from Singapore and Serco Middle East,” explains Al Kader. “All the bids were good but Serco’s regional experience in the aviation industry gave it the edge.”

The RTA awarded Serco the operations and maintenance concession to manage both pre- and post-launch phases of both lines, thought to be worth around AED15bn. The global service company can count Docklands Light Railway in London, the Great Southern Railway in Australia and the Copenhagen Metro in Denmark among its transport client list. Construction started in 2005.

Unified ticketing system

Being hailed as five star service gives rise to the question of affordability. It is thought ticketing will be around the five dirham mark for the furthest journeys. “We are rolling out a unified multi-modal ticketing system that passengers can use on buses and at Metro stations. Pricing will operate on a distance based zonal model; and yes, the five dirham mark is about right although pricing has yet to be decided,” Anderson explains.

The Dubai Metro is a driverless, fully automated metro network which is under construction in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. The Red and Green Lines are under construction, and further lines are planned. These first two lines will run underground in the city centre and on elevated viaducts elsewhere.[1] The Dubai Metro will be the longest fully automated rail system in the world when it opens in 2010.

The trains and stations will be air conditioned with platform edge doors to make this possible.

நாள் & நட்சத்திரம் பார்த்து எல்லாம் ஒன்பதில் இருக்க / தொடங்க வேண்டும் என்று மெட்ரோ வேலைகள் துரித கதியில் நடக்கிறது. துபாய்க்கும் & ஒன்பதுக்கும் (?!) அப்படி என்ன ஒற்றுமையோ தெரியலை.
ஏற்கனவே ஏழரை நாட்டு சனியில் சிக்கித் தவிக்கும் துபாய்க்கு இப்போது 9 பித்து பிடிச்சிருக்கு.
எல்லாம் சரிதான். ஆனால், மெட்ரோ ரயிலின் முதல் தொடக்கத்தை ஒரு பிரபல அரவாணி (9 ?! :-) கையால் தொடங்கி வைத்து, முதல் ரயில் முழுதும் அரவணிக்ளை அடைத்து / அழைத்து வலம் வந்தால் இன்னும் பொருத்தமா இருக்கும் போல. :-)

துபாய் மற்றும் அலீகளின் புகழ் உலகம் முழுதும் இன்னும் ஓங்கும். :-)
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