Dubai: Dubai Tram began its trial run on Sunday, starting from Al Sufouh Depot for a distance of 2.5km.
A batch of 11 trains arrived in Dubai last month, and the trial began following a month-long technical testing inside the depot.
The trial runs will continue daily and will expand their reach in three phases over the next few months.
The 10.6km tram track that will be operational in phase one, has been divided into three zones, with the first zone covering the area between Al Sufouh Depot and Knowledge Village. The zone covers two stations.
Trial runs will extend to zone two from April 16, covering four more stations. The remaining portion of the track will be covered from June 14, extending up to Dubai Marina and including all 11 stations.
Phase one of the Dubai Tram will begin operations on November 14, served by 11 trains and the same number of stations.
Motorists have been advised to extra cautious while driving in the vicinity of tram tracks as trams will cross several traffic intersections in Al Sufouh and Dubai Marina and other areas of its operations.
“Road users will start to see the Dubai Tram in motion on roadsides at Al Sufouh, Jumeirah Beach Residence and the Marina. Vehicular traffic and pedestrians will come across trams at certain points and the tram will have right of way. Motorists are required to be more attentive and compliant with the rules and regulations governing the tram operation and adhere to the new directional signage in place to ensure streamlined traffic movement,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of RTA.
He also said that people will not be allowed to board the trams during the trial runs and urged them to stay out of the trams’ way at all times.
The trial run of the tram includes movement at varying speeds, testing of safety systems, power propulsion of tram carriages, brake system, sudden braking during emergencies, ground electrical feed along the tram track, overhead power feed used in the depot, and operation of the tram’s doors.
New traffic signs were introduced recently on roads in the vicinity of the tram tracks to alert motorists and pedestrians about tram movement.
As trams will have right of way, vehicular traffic from all directions will stop whenever trams cross the intersections.
The 14.6-km Dubai Tram project is being undertaken by French firm Alstom that includes the laying of tracks, building of stations as well as the trams.
In phase one, seven of the 11 stations will be at ground level and the rest will be elevated. Each station will measure 44 metres.
Each tram will also measure 44 metres and will have seven coaches with a capacity to accommodate 300 passengers. The tram will have a Gold Suite and one cabin designated for ladies and children, as well as a Silver Class cabin.
The network is expected to transport about 27,000 riders per day at the start of operations this year, and the ridership is expected to hit 66,000 riders per day by 2020.
Last year RTA appointed Dubai Metro operator Serco as the operator of Dubai Tram.