Serco to operate Dubai tram network

Dubai’s transport authority has awarded Serco a five-year contract to operate the city’s inaugural tram network.

The £18 million contract will also include a 15-month preparatory period to allow for the recruitment and training of new staff.

Serco, which already operates the Dubai Metro, will eventually manage the entire fleet of 25 trams along the 14.6 km network.

The Al Sufouh Tramway, as it is known, will feature a number of world firsts. As well as being the first tram system to feature platform screen doors, the tramway will also be the first to use the catenary-free APS system, which works by only electrifying the section of track directly surrounding the tram.

The Alstom-Besix consortium, which is building the new network, has been awarded a 13-year maintenance contract with an option to extend for an additional five years.

David Campbell, chief executive of Serco in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia, said: “The tram will be an important boost to the JBR and Al Sufouh areas of the city, easing congestion and providing boosts to the local economy.

“We are committed to bringing the same world-class operational practices to the tram that are currently delivered on the Dubai Metro so that it fulfills the RTA’s objectives for the system and becomes another iconic reminder of the success of Dubai’s transport strategy.”

The Al Sufouh network is being built in two phases which, once complete, will see 17 new stations opened and 25 trams in service.

Each tram is 44 metres long, with a capacity for 300 passengers. The trams will also be split into three sections – a first class Gold Suite, a Silver Class car and a separate car for women and children.

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