Seven new stations, 15 extra kilometres, and maybe a new airport link… the Red Line’s getting quite the upgrade.
First the Green Line was revealed to be getting an extra 11 stations, and now the Red Line is on track for a serious upgrade in time for Expo 2020.
An extra 15 kilometres will be tacked on to the Dubai Metro ahead of the next World Expo, with plenty of extra trains and stations added into the mix.
The Roads and Transport Authority announced today that a Dhs10.6 billion contract for the revamp has been awarded to a consortium of Spanish, French and Turkish companies.
So with no further ado, here’s everything we know about Route 2020 so far…
Work is set to kick off later this year – and there’s already an opening date.
Construction of the 15km extension will begin towards the end of this year, and is projected to take around three years to complete.
“Construction works on the project would start in the final quarter of this year and the trial run is expected to start in the last quarter of 2019,” Mattar Al Tayer, the Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, told Emirates 24/7.
After several months of testing, the new route is scheduled to open on May 20, 2020 (well, you might as well stick to the theme). That means the extension should be in action for five months before the Expo begins.
It’s going to be big – seriously big.
Well, with the Expo slated to host 25 million visitors, you’re going to need quite the operation to shuttle them all around.
The extension will link the Red Line from Nakheel Harbour and Tower Station to the Expo 2020 site in Dubai South, and will be made up of 11.8km of viaduct and 3.2km of underground tracks.
There’ll be seven stations created – one transfer station that intersects with the existing Red Line, three elevated stations, two underground stations, and a main hub at the Expo site.
Fifty new trains will also be put on for passengers (with 15 exclusively dedicated to Route 2020), H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, revealed on Twitter.
Launched on 9/9/2009, the Dubai Metro is an architectural feat and a Dubai icon which in 2015 alone carried over 170 million passengers.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) June 29, 2016
“The new route can carry 125,000 passengers a day,” he added.
Route 2020 will be able to ferry up to 46,000 riders per hour in both directions, the RTA estimates.
The stations are pretty futuristic.
You might be travelling by train, but you’ll feel as if you’re about to take off into the air.
The swooping design for the main Expo Station (pictured at the top of this article) is inspired by “the wings of an airplane”, said Abdul Mohsin Ibrahim, Rail Agency CEO with the RTA.
“We have tried to maintain the inspiration of the current metro station in terms of design and facilities,” he told Emirates 24/7, adding that planes are the greatest man-made invention.
The new route won’t just benefit Expo visitors.
If you work at say, an office in Dubai Investments Park, and are sick of cabbing or driving to work, then we’ve got good news.
Route 2020 will terminate at the Expo site, but the extension will cover areas including the Gardens, Discovery Gardens, Al Furjan, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Dubai Investments Park.
Those areas have about 270,000 residents and office workers, so this will make a lot of lives potentially easier.
There’s also hopes of further extending Route 2020 someday to reach Al Maktoum International Airport.
“The airport is 6km from the Expo site. The airport authority has asked for an extension of time to finalise their internal master plan,” Al Tayer told The National.
“Once they approve the route, we can start work.”