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31 January 2019 07:29 am

High-tech tram arrives at Msheireb Downtown Doha

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Msheireb Properties received another global accolade by obtaining Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation for the Tram Depot located within its flagship development project, Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) Gulf Times reported.

The accolade coincides with Msheireb Properties, Qatar’s leading sustainable developer and a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation for Education, Sciences and Community Development, receiving its third tram from the US-based manufacturer, TIG/m.

The Tram Depot, a stabling and maintenance facility for Msheireb Properties’ three trams, got its accreditation in recognition of its advanced specifications that meet the LEED criteria.

The fully air-conditioned trams incorporate special light-filtering glass panels which inhibit over 90% of the heat from sunlight

According to a report produced by the judges, accreditation was awarded based on excellence across multiple criteria, including design, fit out, sustainability, and optimised energy performance.

The report also referred to the building’s overall approach to environmental friendliness, in terms of waste management and low-emitting materials.

MDD has one of the highest concentrations of LEED-certified sustainable buildings, making it the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project.

With a 32% energy reduction goal, almost all the project buildings have LEED Gold certification, with some buildings exceeding expectations to achieve LEED Platinum status.

The tramway network is one of the core features of MDD, planned to facilitate the transportation of residents and visitors around the city in an eco-friendly way.

The third self-powered, high-tech, electric streetcar, designed and built by TIG/m, has already arrived on site and is being installed at the district.

TIG/m designed, manufactured, and installed the public transportation system of MDD, aimed at reducing automobile traffic and providing eco-friendly, convenient travel in Downtown Doha.

“We aim to facilitate the reintroduction of the electric street railway into the fabric of modern cities and MDD is an example of how to do just that without compromising functionality or aesthetics.

We are very happy with our collaboration and immensely proud of what we have achieved,” TIG/m president Brad Read said.

Msheireb Properties’ acting CEO Ali al-Kuwari said they are proud to receive yet another Platinum LEED accreditation for the Tram Depot.

“We know of no other development project in the world that has LEED certified the housing and maintenance of a cities’ transportation vehicles. With the arrival of the final tram for MDD, we have the ability to provide an easy transport network throughout the smart and sustainable city’s neighbourhoods and facilities,” he noted. “It will be the first-of-its-kind in Qatar and another milestone on our journey to conclude the development of this award-winning development project.”

The three TIG/m trams are single-deck, rigid body, self-powered vehicles, and require no overhead wire or wayside power systems of any kind. The traction power is provided by onboard batteries operating with a regenerative braking function.

Ancillary power is provided by a small onboard generator.

Because the power for a full day of service is carried on-board, the trams are immune to technical problems caused by an off-board power support system, and free of the need to stop for charging during passenger service.

The fully air-conditioned trams incorporate special light-filtering glass panels which inhibit over 90% of the heat from sunlight.

The trams are also convertible and can be operated as open-air cars during the cooler winter months by removing the large glass panels.

This feature is unique to the MDD tramway system.

In addition, the system incorporates many advanced features for the convenience of the passengers and overall safety of the tramway and assets.

They include: level boarding at all passenger stations; a hop-on-hop-off service at the Wadi Msheireb section of Downtown; Virtual Tram Detection and tram priority at traffic signals; tram arrival signs in real-time on the trams and at the passenger stations; on-board CCTV; and on-board Wi-Fi.

The tramway network within MDD is a single 2km, closed-loop track system that includes nine stops, with a 400-meter hop-on/hop-off zone.

The trams will operate between 6am and 1am from Sunday to Thursday, and between 1pm and 1am on Friday and Saturday.

The system links all parts of the development within 18 minutes, with a six-minute headway at each station, and offers residents access to Msheireb Station, the largest Doha Metro station that links Qatar Rail’s three metro lines: Red, Green, and Gold.

The trams run on standard gauge track (1,435mm) and are custom designed and hand crafted to the highest standards of excellence, while adhering to European Standards for Tramway Safety.

Cover photo courtesy of Shutter Stock