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They did it! Sandaoling will run at least until 2018. They reduced the number of locos in the pit to three, but they’ll continue to run for sure. Time for another winter tour in December 2017!

Man hat es tatsächlich getan! Sandaling wird bis mindestens 2018 mit Dampf weiter fahren. Man hat zwar die Zahl der Dampflokomotiven, die in den Tagebau fahren, auf drei reduziert, aber man fährt immerhin noch. Zeit für eine weitere Winterreise, im Dezember 2017!

Steam in Sandaoling - The show must go on!

Steam in Sandaoling – The show must go on!

After the Chinese New Years’ break Sandaoling is running as usual. There are new rumors that the final end of the steam and the railway is not decided yet. They’ll announced an all stakeholder meeting in March – and this should bring a decision. So there is still hope as the mine is supposed to run until 2019/2021. But the boiler tickets are expiring this year …

At temperatures around 5 to 8 degrees Centigrade there is almost no steam exhaust visible, only the mornings are good.

Nach dem chinesischen Neujahrsfest hat Sandaoling die Arbeit wieder wie gewohnt aufgenommen. Es gibt Gerüchte, nachdem das Ende der Eisenbahn bzw. der Dampftraktion doch noch nicht besiegelt seien. Im März gibt es eine große Versammlung aller Beteilgten, die eine Entscheidung herbeiführen können. Damit gibt es doch noch Hoffnung, denn die Mine wird erst 2019/2021 ausgekohlt sein. Aber die Kesselfristen laufen dieses Jahr ab …

Bei Temperaturen von um die 5 bis 8 Grad gibt es fast keinen Dampfentwicklung mehr zu beobachten, nur am Morgen sieht es noch schön aus.

Sandaoling open cast mine steam

Steam in Dongbolizhan at shift change

After Chinese New Year an SY steam locomotive returned back to service. But today they decided to extinguish the fire at least until July 2017. The coal production is lower than usual due to the reduced demand.

However, February 11th we’ll fly to China. Sandaoling an Wujiu are on the agenda. Wujiu is still not sure, but we’ll receive new information after Feb 12th.

In Pingzhuang hat man nach dem Chinesischen Neujahrsfest eine SY wieder angeheizt. Heute jedoch wurde das Feuer wieder gelöscht, zumindest bis Juli 2017, wie man sagt. Die Kohleproduktion ist wegen der gesunkenen Nachfrage einfach zu gering, um den Einsatz der Dampflok zu rechtfertigen.

Am 11.2. fliegen wir trotzdem nach China, Sandaoling und Wujiu stehen noch auf dem Programm, wobei Wujiu immer noch unsicher ist.

Die gute Nachricht: die Iran-Reise kann durchgeführt werden! Die weniger gute: wegen der Probleme in der Osttürkei fährt über die berühmte Ghotour-Brücke nur ein Zugpaar pro Tag. Wir fahren natürlich trotzdem hin, um dieses Bauwerk abzulichten. Wer weiß, wie lange man noch fahren kann. Herr Trump könnte ein neues Dekret unterschreiben, vielelicht auch die Aufkündigung des Atomdeals und die abermalige Verteufelung des Iran … Wer noch mitkommen möchte, klicke bitte hier:

http://www.farrail.com/seiten/buchung/buchung.php?selectedTourId=154

Vielleicht sehen wir uns im tollen Persien,
Bernd

*****

The good news is: Iran is confirmed, the tour will run. Not so good: due to the problems in Eastern Turkey the famous Ghotour bridge sees only one pair of trains per day. Of course, we’ll go there to see this magnifient construction. And who knows for how long such tours to Iran will be possible. Maybe Mr. Trump will sign another note which cancels the nuclear deal and bans Iran from international trade and toursim again … If you want to see to Persia, please click here:

http://www.farrail.com/pages/bookings/booking-form.php?selectedTourId=154

Would be nice to meet in Tehran,
Bernd

A 50+ years old Amarican diesel loco hauls German n-wagons through Lorestan in Iran ...

A 50+ years old Amarican diesel loco hauls German n-wagons through Lorestan in Iran …

Die Reise nach Bulgarien konnte heute zugesagt werden, das 1’F2’-„Monster“ 46.03 wird also im März die Berge hoch brüllen! Die zweiachsigen Wagen werden auch kommen, es bestehen also gute Aussichten, dass die Reise den erhofften Erfolg haben wird. Wer noch mitkommen möchte, findet alle Details hier:

http://www.farrail.com/seiten/touren/Dampf-in-Bulgarien-2017.php

Viele Grüße aus Birma,
Bernd

*****

Today we could confirm the tour to Bulgaria: the tour is on. That means that in March 2017 the 2-12-4 “monster engine” 46.03 will storm up the mountains! The discussions about the four wheel wagons are in their last stage, so we’ll very likely see authentic trains and the tour might become the planned success. If you want to jump on the tour: please find the details here

http://www.farrail.com/pages/touren-engl/Big-Steam-in-Bulgaria_2-12-4-and-others-in-2017.php

Best regards from Burma,
Bernd

46.03 in Bulgarien

46.03 – the 2-12-4, one of the largest tank engines ever built

Auf dem Weg zurück von Zingyaik, wo sich die Steinbrüche befinden, nach Bago erlebten wir einen schönen Abend. Anbei ein paar Bilder von diesem Tag.

*****

On our way back from Zingyaik, the station next to a quarry, to Bago we experienced some very nice moments in the evening. Here are some pictures from that day.

Stone train from Zingyaik to Bago

Stone train from Zingyaik to Bago

Stone train with YD to Bago

Die letzten Sonnestrahlen verglühen auf der Haut von YD 964

Stone train with YD to Bago

Sonnenuntergang im Flachland von Myanmar

Stone train with YD to Bago

After sunset …

Am nächsten Tag ging es dann von Thaton weiter in Richtung Norden.

*****

The next day we continued with our northbound train.

Stone train with YD to Bago

morning light and on a pond

Stone train with YD to Bago

Stone train with YD to Bago

Schattenspiele auf der Brücke von Hninpale

Stone train with YD to Bago
last light on the last day

Nach dem Ende der Reise bin ich in die Hauptstadt gefahren. Die Gespräche dort verliefen äußert zufrieden stellend, und daher taucht im Reisekalender eine neue Staatsbahn-Dampf-Reise für den Januar 2018 auf. Das Programm wird erst in einigen Wochen verfügbar sein, denn wir brauchen erst noch einige Bestätigungen, dass die neuen Pläne auch realisierbar sind.

*****

After the tour I went to the capital. The talks there went very promising and hence there appeared a new steam tour to Burma on the tour calendar in January 2018. The itinerary will be published after I get a confirmation for a very special event.

Nach fast zehn Jahren erreichte erstmals wieder eine Dampflokomotive das Depot Mottama. Trotz Brücke ist das Depot immer noch in Betrieb! Das Gleisdreieck zum Drehen der Lok musste allerdings durch uns mehr oder weniger komplett neu aufgebaut werden, damit unsere Lok in beide Richtungen Schornstein voran fahren kann. Die Vorbereitung dieser Reise hat neun Jahre beansprucht …

Gestern hatten Lok und Mannschaft einen Ruhetag.

*****

Almost ten years after the last steam locomotive reached Mottama and despite they built a bridge the depot is still in use. The triangle to turn our loco, however, needed to be re-build from the scratch. This was done in preparation of our tour to enable us to run trains in both directions chimney first. The tour was arranged over a period of nine years …

Yesterday our loco and its crew had a rest day.

YD 964 in Mottama

YD 964 in Mottama

Interessant ist auch der “Panzertriebwagen” im Depot – immer noch in Betrieb. Es muss fürchterlich heiß und laut in ihm sein, wenn man damit über die Schienen rumpelt.

Interesting the armored railcar in the depot – still in use. It must be horrible hot and noisy inside, when bumping over the rails.

DCA 8513 in Mottama

DCA 8513 in Mottama

Inneres des Panzertriebwagens in Mottama

Inneres des Panzertriebwagens in Mottama

Auf dem Weg nach Süden ist unser Steinzug mittlerweile im Verladebahnhof bei den Steinbrüchen angekommen. Auf dem Weg dorthin sind noch einige Aufnahmen entstanden.

On the way to the south our stone train reached its destination – the quarries of Zingyaik. On the way we could take some more pictures.

Steinzug bei Kyaikhto

Steinzug bei Kyaikhto

Yinnyein: Steinzug im Abendlicht

Yinnyein: Steinzug im Abendlicht

Steinzug mit YD  bei Taungzun

Steinzug mit YD bei Taungzun

Mit einem authentischen Steinzug auf dem Weg nach Süden: das hat es seit zehn Jahren nicht mehr gegeben. Die Maschine hält erstaunlich gut durch. Bis auf ein heiß gelaufenes Lager (wird heute am Ruhetag repariert) und einen (genau vor dieser Aufnahme) verstopften Ölbrenner (fünf Minuten Verzögerung) gab es bislang keine Probleme.

An authentic stone train on its way to the south: this hasn’t been seen for ten years! Our loco performs surprisingly well. Only a hot connecting rod bearing (will be repaired today, our planned repairing day) and a blocked oil burner (problem solved within 5 minutes) there were no troubles on our way to Mottama.

Am dritten Tag unserer Reise hat uns im Verlaufe des Tages das Wetterglück verlassen. Ansonsten hat sich auf der Staatsbahn Myanmars noch nicht viel geändert. Noch, denn der Vertrag mit japanischen Lieferanten sieht vor, die Signaltechnik ab Juni 2017 umzubauen. Dann ist die Zeit der Formsignale vorbei.

*****

The third day of our tour saw more and more clouds, until it became overcastted. The state railway of Myanmar looking still very much like ten years ago. But times will change, from June 2017 a Japanese company will re-signalling Burma.

YC 629 in Bago

YC 629 in Bago

Anbei ein Bild von der abendlichen Rückkehr von YC 629 mit einem Personenzug.
The picture shows YC 629 after our passenger train has reached Bago in the evening.

Theinzayak Market

Theinzayak Market

Die dritte Lok im Einsatz am vierten Tag: YD 964 durchfährt mit einem Steinzug den Markt von Theinzayak.
The third loco in service at our fourth day: YD 964 crosses the market at Theinzayak.

Nach zehn Jahren endlich wieder ein richtiger Dampfzug auf der Staatsbahn: YC 629 fuhr heute nach Pyuntaza.

Ten years after the last real steam in Burma we got it, finally: YC 629 went with an authentic train to Pyuntaza.

YC 629 on its way from Pyuntaza to Bago with a passenger train

YC 629 on its way from Pyuntaza to Bago with a passenger train

Before the tour starts: monks blessing our locomotives. The pictures shows the monks in the cab of YD 964, praying for the gods of steam.

Bevor die Reise beginnen kann: Mönche weihen unsere Lokomotiven, hier im Führerstand von YD 964 beim Beten für die Götter des Dampfes.

Myanmar: Monks blessing our locomotives in Bago

Myanmar: Monks blessing our locomotives in Bago

After a message that they extended their use of steam until the winter due to financial problems the end came over night: August 31st, 2016, the last fires were dropped in Fuxin. Diesel locomotives took over everything now.

Pingzhuang and Sandaoling are the remaining steam hotspots. Their end will also come soon but not unexpected.

Below a shot from better days.

*****

Nach der Nachricht, dass Fuxin wegen finanzieller Probleme nun doch noch bis zum Winter Dampf einsetzen wolle, hat man zum 31. August 2016 alle Feuer unter den Kesseln der SY ausgehen lassen. Seither gibt es nur noch Dieselloks im Einsatz, Fuxin ist dampffrei!

Pingzhuang und Sandaoling verbleiben als letzte Dampf-Hotspots in China. Deren Ende steht aber ebenso unmittelbar bevor. Es kommt nicht unerwartet.

Unten ein Bild aus besseren Tagen.

Steam in Fuxin is over now.

Steam in Fuxin is over now. But we enjoied the glorious days very much!

Es gibt nur noch eine einzige, der letzte Mohikaner sozusagen. Zuckerrohr, das von Hand geschnitten und verladen, von Wasserbüffeln auf das Hauptgleis gezogen und hinter einer Dampflok die dampfbetriebene Zuckermühle erreicht: Olean bei Situbondo in Indonesien auf der Insel Java . Und auch hier nicht mehr täglich, aber immerhin doch in der Ernesaison in regelmäßigen Intervallen, wenn nämlich die eine eingesetzte Diesellok nicht ausreicht.

Man muss Glück haben, aber wenn, man es hat, dann lassen sich Aufnahmen machen, die man sonst nirgendwo mehr machen kann: ein beladener Zuckerrohrzug, der am Nachmittag oder Abend vom Feld zur Zuckermühle mit einer Dampflokomotive abgefahren wird.

Bei unserem Besuch konnte die Diesellok nicht gestartet werden und musste mit Hilfe der Dampflokomotive angeschleppt werden. Wie erbärmlich für die “neue” Traktionsart, die Starthilfe von einer 104 Jahre alten Dampflok benötigt, um auf in die Pötte zu kommen!

Zuckermühle Olean

Zuckermühle Olean: Die 104-jährige O&K Nr. 4 schleppt die Diesellok an

Zuckermühle Olean

Zuckermühle Olean

Zuckermühle Olean

The last survivor of daily real steam operation of Indonesia is Purwodadi. They’re still using two locomotives to pull and push the trains over the bridge to the mill. Sometimes diesel locos are involved in this duty, however.

Olean is also using steam, but not on a daily basis.

*****

Die letzte Mühle, die noch täglich echten Dampf einsetzt, ist Purwodadi. Zwei Maschinen ziehen und schieben die Züge über die Brücke zur Mühle. Manchmal sind aber auch Diesellokomotiven in das Rangiergeschäft mit den Zuckerzügen involviert.

Olean nutzt auch noch Dampf, allerdings nicht mehr täglich.

Purwodadi steam operation in 2016

Purwodadi steam operation in 2016

 

Steam in Fuxin and Pingzhuang

Fuxin is continuing to run steam. They first decided to leave four locos in service to avoid to dismiss too many staff. But then they had financial problems and can’t afford the diesel locos they got from another mine. These locos are in use:

SY 1319, 1460, 1378, 1395 (Zhude), 1210, 1818

Pingzhuang has serious trouble with the second hand diesels and two SYs returned into service: SY  1764  and 1425. They may add  SY 1441 in the winter season when traffic demands are higher.
However, this is only the last flame of an almost extinguished fire. Those who are late have a last chance …
Best regards from Indonesia,
Bernd

Steam in Tuzla 8th July 2016

On a holiday trip in the direction to Mostar, I stayed one day in the Tuzla area. This is, what was happening:

Dubrave
33 504 was shunting in the morning (approx. 0730 AM).
I asked afterwards for access. It was granted and the gatekeeper took my id as deposit. I stayed approx. 30 min close to the engine and received the id back after taking my pictures.
Tip for gatekeeper afterwards. Some asked for “Documenti” inside, but nobody hindered me in taking pictures.

Sikule
33 503 was shunting in the afternoon (approx. 1530 PM).
I asked for access as shots from the outside seemed difficult and operation might cease soon. Access was granted, but only with a guide. The Loco was called, after 33 503 pushed all the cars through the facility; it was possible to let the train run through the facility again with many stops for photos. At the end of the track, the cars were uncoupled and I took a footplate ride to the “parking position” of the Sikule loco.
Multiple Tips, as many people were involved. Driver was customer-focused, that made an extra tip.
Great day! ;-)

John Raby was back in Bosnia in May on an industrial heritage tour and what he found confirms that working steam in Bosnia is now normally confined to shunting. At the time of his visit, the Oskova narrow gauge shunt on the Banovici system was also diesel but this was put down to the low demand for coal and steam is expected to return to this when demand increases. On the standard gauge, 2-10-0 kriegsloks were shunting at Sikulje and Dubrave and Bukinje Works is still overhauling kriegsloks to give Kreka Mining a working fleet of 5 locos. The kriegsloks are allowed to travel between Kreka location over the ZFBH system light engine under their own steam. You can read John’s trip report here:

Locos available (in May):
Kreka Mining
33-064 (transferred from Bukinje to Sikulje)
33-236 (shunting at Dubrave)
33-248 (full overhaul nearing completion Bukinje)
33-503 (Transferred from Sikulje to Bukinje)
33-504 (minor repairs Bukinje)
Banovici
19-12 (sg) (Oskova)
25-30
62-125 (sg) (Oskova) (stored in good condition but not currently in working order)
83-158
83-159
With very little real steam working on a daily basis but with around 7-9 locos of 4 different classes in working order, a tour in the not too distant future including charters seemed to make good sense.
Across the border in Serbia, the line at Mokra Gora is offering a diesel tourist train daily from 1 April until 31 October. Steam and diesel trains can be chartered here so John and his local Bosnian guides plan a tour to highlight the best of the narrow and standard gauge in the Tuzla-Banovici area of Bosnia and on the line from Mokra Gora to Sargan Vitasi and in the other direction across the Bosnian border towards Visegrad where the track has been relaid but is not in regular use.
Mokra Gora
83-052 is available for charter trains
During the September tour, the following is planned:
At Banovici, there will be a charter with a class 83 and a mixed train over the full narrow gauge line, two narrow gauge steam locos shunting at Oskova, and the standard gauge Oskova shunt returned to steam. At Kreka, negotiations are ongoing to run a coal train on the branch from Dubrave to Ljubace behind steam but the tour will definitely include visits to see the kreigsloks shunting at Sikulje and Dubrave and visit the workshops at Bukinje. We plan two charters at Mokra Gora as described above.
John Parker will be leading this mainly charter steam tour in September 2016. You can find out more here: http://rabylee.uk/bosnia2016.html
John
ps: on the May trip we took at look at the Breza coalmine from the hill behind it. One of the two USA tanks looked like it might be the spare loco for times when the working diesel is being serviced. Breza management have subsequently stated that neither of the two steam locos there can be steamed and are therefore not available for charter.

 

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Sargan Eight

Banovici Charter

Banovici Charter

Oskova Standard Gauge Charter

Oskova Standard Gauge Charter

Oskova Standard Gauge Charter

Oskova Standard Gauge Charter

Sikulje class 33 shunting

Sikulje class 33 shunting

https://vimeo.com/user16527720/videos

- Indonesien (Java) 2010

- Ferrovia Eritrea – Dampf über den Wolken Afrikas, 2008

- Eritrea 2010: Mit Mallets durchs Gebirge

- Die letzten Tage der QJ Jingpeng 2005 Dokusoap

- EF Donna Tereza Cristina, Brasilien 2013

 

Thomas Kautzor  reports:

May 15-19, 2016 together with Torsten Schneider I visited the U.A.E. and Oman to take photos of trains.

Abu Dhabi:

Our two-day visit to Abu Dhabi to photograph Etihad Rail went well (= we were not arrested). I had written twice to the railway through their online contact form to ask for permission to visit their maintenance facility at Al Mirfa but never got an answer. On site we met the head of security, a South African ex-SAP who had previously worked in Afghanistan, and he told us that we should be very careful with Abu Dhabi Police not seeing us as the railway is considered a “Critical National Infrastructure” and we could have problems if we were seen photographing it. ER is being operated by DB Schenker, with DB International in charge of infrastructure and DB Cargo in charge of operations. As a result, most loco drivers are German and British expats who previously worked for DB Schenker in Germany or the U.K., although officially there are also some Emiratis drivers. The only product being transported is granulated Sulphur, a byproduct of the oilfields, which is carried for ADNOC, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.

The line runs for about 100 km along the coast and then 160 km inland past Liwa oasis to the loading point at Shah (km 264). There is another loading point at Habshan, between the coast and Madinat Zayed. There are loops for the trains to turn at both loading points and at the unloading facility at the port of Ruwais. ER has seven 4500hp EMD SD70ACS (identical desert locos operate with SAR in Saudi Arabia and with SNIM in Mauritania) and 240 chinese-made covered hopper wagons, with 11,000-tonnes 110-car 1.8 km-long trains hauled by three locos. Empties travel at 100 km/h, loaded trains at 80 km/h.

The trains leave the depot at Mirfa to the loading points, then run to Ruwais to unload and then return to Mirfa. The Habshan run takes place mostly at night, with only the Ruwais to Mirfa section during daylight, but apart from the closed motorway bridge at Ruwais there is no access to the line, and the day we went there we had just missed it as it had left earlier than scheduled. The longer Shah turn is more favorable to photographers as it leaves Mirfa shortly after daybreak and cames back in the afternoon. The line is fenced-in all of its length, but there are a few bridges over the railway from where the train can be photographed.

The line along the coast is double-track as it was going to be part of the GCC Rail Network which was to link Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E. and Oman. After the official opening of the existing line in 12/2015 (which has seen test runs since 09/2013), it was however announced in 01/2016 that the tendering process for Phase 2 of Etihad Rail (628 km) had been suspended until further notice as a result of the low oil prices. This included the link from Ruwais to Ghweifat on the Saudi border as well as from Liwa Junction (Tarif) to Al Ain (on the border with Oman). Since then, the Saudis have stated that they had changed their priorities to building up their domestic network and the Omanis have also suspended the tendering for their part of the network in order to rethink their priorities in view of the fact that the connection from the U.A.E. will not be built in the near future.

Etihad Rail, Abu Dhabi

Etihad Rail, Abu Dhabi

Etihad Rail, Abu Dhabi

Etihad Rail, Abu Dhabi

 

In Abu Dhabi city, we also visited the Khalifa Park Railway, AD’s first railway (609mm) opened in 2007. The loco is Severn Lamb “Lincoln” class 2131.FEB.03, with the 68hp Kubota V3300 engine in the tender.  As there no other passengers for the first train of the day at 3 pm, we were able to turn it into a photo charter with the friendly assistance of the Bangla train Crew.

 

Khalifa Park in Abu Dhabi

Khalifa Park in Abu Dhabi

 

Dubai

The Palm Monorail links the Gateway parking garage on the mainland (served by a Dubai Tram station) with the Atlantis Aquaventure hotel complex on Palm Jumeirah (a palm-shaped man-made island) since 2009. It is operated by Serco for real estate firm Nakheel. Two out of four three-part driverless straddle-beam monorail trains built by the Marubeni Corp./Osaka Monorail Co. Ltd. in Japan are in operations on a 23 min. frequency. The ride only takes 10 minutes and is used mainly by tourists as it much easier and cheaper to drive onto the island. Moreover, connections to other modes of public transport at the Gateway are poor. Initial plans called for an extension of the monorail to Dubai Internet City metro station, which would have made it more attractive to commuters. There are two intermediate stations, but although trains stop there for a few seconds, these are not open yet.

 

Palm Monorail

Palm Monorail

 

After Abu Dhabi, we spent two days photographing the various metros and trams of Dubai. First was Baguley-Drewry 4wDH 3655/1968 (12 tons, 80hp Perkins 6.354 engine) at Mushrif Park. Together with two other BD No. 3656-7/1968 and two RH 0-4-0DE 165DE 418595/1957 and 418599/1958 it was used in Dubai by Costain International Ltd. as No. L1-L5 during construction of Port Rashindfrom 1968 to 1971. After completion, all five locos and the 18 Butterley Co. Ltd. flat cars were put into storage in Dubai and in 1975 L1 and two of the cars donated to the city for use on an 0.8 km long line at newly-opened Mushrif Park (10 km east of Dubai Airport). The two flat cars were fitted with passenger car bodies made of plywood and benches. Although initial plans were for the line to be extended into a loop around the park, the railway only lasted until 1981 when it was replaced by a road train and the train was put on display next to the passenger loading platform.

Since then, apart from a park railway at Safa Park, Dubai had been without a railway until the opening of the first section of Dubai Metro’s Red Line in 2009 and of the Palm Monorail the same year. Since then, Dubai now has two metro lines, a tram line, a trolley (tram) and a monorail.

Dubai Metro consists of the 52 km-long Red Line from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali and the 22.5 km-long Green Line from Etisalat to Creek. 79 five-car driverless trains built by Kinky Sharyo are in use on the system (60 on the Red and 19 on the Green Line), which are maintained in three depots (Rashidiya, Jebel Ali and Etisalat). One car on each train has a “Gold Class” section (double the fare) as well as a “Women & Children” section. Most of the lines are elevated, except in the city center where they are underground. The two lines connect at both Union and Bur Juman stations. The Metro is difficult to photograph from public ground because there are few vantage points above the tracks; the only possibilities are a few road bridges or parking facilities. The other option is to photograph through the station or the trains’ front windows. All stations are air-conditioned and fully enclosed. Dubai Metro is operated by Serco for the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA). There were once great plans to extend the metro with four more lines to 421 km of track, but that is momentarily on hold. However, a 14.5 km extension of the Red Line to the Expo 2020 site has been approved and construction is to start soon, while design work for a 20.6 km extension of the Green Line is to start in 2017.

 

Dubai Metro

Dubai Metro

Dubai Tram serves the Dubai Marina as well as the Al Sufouh neighborhood since 2014. The present 10.6 km line has 11 stations and is equipped with APS II ground-level power supply (only track within the maintenance center is equipped with overhead catenary). There are presently eleven Alstom Citadis 402 7-section trams, of which six are in use during non-rush hours. There are plans to extend the line by 5 km from Al Sufouh to the Mall of the Emirates and to Burj Al Arab (initial plans were for the tram to run all the way along Jumeirah Beach Road to the old center of Dubai). The Tram is also operated by Serco for the RTA, as with the Metro each tram features a “Gold Class” and a “Women & Children” sections, and all stations are fully-enclosed and air-conditioned. In order for the doors to align correctly, after the driver stops the tram at the station an autopilot takes over for a final move. At one point we were asked at a station by a Filipino security guard whether we had a permit to take photos of the trams, but we we told him “no” he said that it was ok anyway.

 

Dubai Tram

Dubai Tram

 

Dubai Trolley started operating next to Dubai Mall in Downtown Dubai in 2015 with one double-decker hydrogen-electric battery tram built by TIG/m in California (of the same type as the trams in Aruba). Although the line is officially 1.1 km long with three stations and a crossing loop in the middle, it measures at only 0.6 km. It is essentially a tourist tram, as is the case in Aruba it is faster to walk. There are plans to extend the line by 4.6 km to loop around the Burj Khalifa (the world’s highest building), which would include a section through the parking garage of Dubai Mall, and a second trolley is expected soon. The Trolley is owned by real estate giant Emaar. During the hotter summer month the lower level of the trolley can be enclosed and air-conditioned, as can waiting rooms at two of the three stations

 

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