The first Siemens Avenio low-floor tram for Qatar’s Education City light rail project left the company’s Wildenrath test centre in north-western Germany in late July on the first stage of its journey to the Gulf.
The 27.7m three-section vehicle – which has also undertaken climatic testing at the Rail-Tec Arsenal facility in Vienna to prepare for the dusty and humid operating environment where daily temperatures can reach 50°C – will be shipped to Qatar from the port of Bremerhaven.
Siemens was awarded a EUR100m turnkey contract by the Qatar Foundation in May 2012 to equip the 11.5km (7.1-mile) line, linking Education City with the Doha Metro. In addition to signalling and telecommunications systems, electrification and depot equipment, the agreement includes 19 Avenio trams. Each tram will have a capacity for 222 passengers, 60 seated, and the system will be capable of transporting up to 3300 passengers/hour in each direction, requiring 16 trams during peak periods operating at four-minute intervals on the busiest sections. The maximum operating speed is 40km/h (25mph).
The fleet will also be equipped with the Sitras HES onboard energy storage system for catenary-free operation, with recharge points at each station.