Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) has taken a step towards a car-free site with an order for the turnkey construction of a tram system from Siemens Rail Systems.
The system will be installed on Qatar Foundation’s campus in Doha and serve 25 stations across the site. When completed, the Avenio trams will run on 11.5 kilometres of track without the need for any overhead contact lines. They will be equipped with the Sitras Hybrid Energy Storage system (HES) from Siemens, with energy being supplied at the tram stops. The system will become operational in autumn 2015.
Siemens will supply 19 double-articulated trams to Qatar Foundation, each with an overall length of 27.7 metres and a width of 2.55 metres. Each Avenio tram can carry up to 239 passengers, and will be specially equipped to cope with the country’s climatic conditions. In addition to an extra powerful air-conditioning system, special sun shades on the roof will protect the electrical equipment from radiant heat. The low-floor design and optimal arrangement of the double-leaf doors featured in the Avenio platform allow passengers to get on and off quickly, thus enabling shorter stop times at stations. By dispensing with the need for overhead contact lines, the system reduces electrification costs, improves energy efficiency and has a positive effect on the urban landscape.
Commenting on the new transport system Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi, Qatar Foundation’s Vice President of Capital Projects and Facilities Management, said, “This agreement provides yet more evidence that Qatar Foundation is helping to spearhead the nation’s drive towards environmental sustainability. All of our new constructions are designed with the environment in mind, and this innovative transport scheme further demonstrates this commitment. Ultimately, our aim is to make the Qatar Foundation site a car-free zone and, with the introduction of the new tram system, we are well on our way to achieving this goal.”
Hans-Jörg Grundmann, CEO of Siemens Rail Systems, further emphasised the project’s environmental credentials, stating, "Siemens is setting new standards in tram and light rail technology with its Avenio platform. The low-floor technology and ergonomic design provide a high level of passenger comfort. Its energy storage system for optimising the energy balance and its operation without overhead contact lines are further aspects that go toward making the Avenio a model system for sustainable, rail-based mass transit as well as the most modern tram in the world.”
The Sitras HES system can be charged at each of the 25 stations, even during the shortest of stops, through centralised rectifier substations and distributed charging stations. Power converters transform the three-phase current, with a rated voltage of 11 kV, into the 750 V direct current required for charging the energy storage unit. Sitras HES utilises double-layer capacitors and a traction battery. No pantograph needs to be raised thanks to the special design of the overhead conductor rails at the tram stops.
The scope of supply includes signalling and communication systems, as well as depot equipment. Siemens will also be fitting four of the stations with platform edge doors.
Qatar Foundation is a regional centre of excellence in the spheres of education and research, housing top universities and world-class research and technology facilities. It aims to help transform Qatar from a carbon economy to a knowledge-based economy as part of Qatar National Vision 2030.