Street car line building done right!

Siemens Transportation of Germany announced today that it has been awarded a contract to build a tram system in Doha, Qatar.

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. 

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. 

And back here in Washington, DC we are stuck with an agency trying to install 20 year old tram technolgy throughout the city. Notice the opening date in Qatar is projected to be 2015. Let's see: 7.5 miles (11.5 kilometers) being built in roughly three years. Here in DC we can not even get half a mile of track into the ground inside of 3 years.

"Avenio" Tram Unit by Siemens Mobility

Thanks to for some of the information in this blog entry.