Siemens Rail Systems, the German engineering giant, announced this week that it’s won a contract from Qatar to provide a tram system in Doha before the 2022 Soccer World Cup. It says the order is worth over €100 million. By 2022, about $60 billion will have been invested into expanding the nation’s infrastructure, the company noted. However, the project is expected to be operational in autumn 2015.
Qatar Foundation will be supplied with 19 double-articulated Avenio trams from Siemens, and each will have an overall width of 2.55 metres and length of 27.7 metres. Every tram can carry as many as 239 passengers and will be equipped to operate in the nation’s climatic conditions. The trams will have extra powerful air conditioning systems and special sun shades on the roofs to protect the electrical equipment from radiant heat. The design of the low-floor and optimal arrangement of the double-leaf doors allow passengers to board and disembark fast, enabling shorter station stops.
The tram system is set to be constructed on Qatar Foundation’s Doha campus, and it will serve 25 stations throughout the site. When finished, the Avenio trams will operate on 11.5km of track without needing overhead contact lines. Instead, Siemens will equip them with their Sitras Hybrid Energy Storage system (HES), and energy will be supplied at tram stops. The system uses a traction battery and double-layer capacitors, and thanks to the specially designed overhead conductor rails at tram stops, no pantograph has to be raised.
The HES system can be charged at each of the stations through centralised rectifier substations and distributed charging stations. Power converters will turn the three-phase current into the direct current needed for charging the energy storage unit. By discharging the need for overhead contact lines, the system will have a positive effect on the urban landscape, improve energy efficiency and reduce electrification costs. Four stations will also be fitted with platform edge doors by Siemens.
Siemens Rail Systems chief executive Hans-Jörg Grundmann has emphasised the environmental credentials of the project. He says the company is setting new standards in tram and light rail technology with the Avenio platform. The ergonomic design and low-floor technology provides a high level of passenger comfort. The energy storage system that optimises the energy balance and its operation without overhead contact lines are other aspects that make the Avenio tram an ideal system for sustainable mass transit on rails, as well as make it the most modern tram in the world, he added.
Joerg Scheifler, Siemens infrastructure & cities division chief executive for the Middle East, says the company’s long-standing tram history dates back up to 130 years and means they are in a unique position to design and provide transport systems and solutions tailored to the needs of their clients, no matter their location. This contract is another milestone in the company’s goal to be a key driver in the ongoing and fast transformation of Qatar, he added.
Qatar Foundation vice president of capital projects and facilities management Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi says this deal provides more evidence that they are helping to lead the nation’s drive towards environmental sustainability. All of their new projects are designed with the environment in mind, and this innovative mobility scheme is further proof of this commitment. Their ultimate aim is to make the foundation a car-free zone, and they are well on their way to achieving this with the introduction of this new tram network, he added.
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