Palm Jumeirah Monorail, Dubai
The well proven design was employed to enable trains to run smoothly and silently, protecting the man-made island from noise
The Middle East’s first monorail system has the capacity to carry
40,000 passengers each day across the plush Palm Jumeirah.
Palm Jumeirah Monorail runs silently from Gateway Station at the
trunk of the Palm to the landmark Atlantis Hotel and waterpark. It
opened to visitors in April 2009.
The Palm’s developer, Nakheel, appointed Mott MacDonald to monitor
and assure quality through design and construction for the 5.4km
rail, which has been being carried out by Japanese turnkey
contractor Marubeni, working with civils contractor Obayashi, train
builder and mechanical/electrical contractor Hitachi.
The type of monorail used was selected because it is slender and
unobtrusive compared with a conventional light railway and looks
futuristic. But the system is based on a very robust design that
has been widely used in Japan.
While the construction technology is simple – precast concrete
track beams are fixed with an in-situ concrete ‘stitch’ to cast
in-situ Y-shaped piers – the line has a snaking geometry. Great
care was needed during casting and placement of the beams to make
sure that curves and joints were smooth. The well proven design was
employed to enable trains to run smoothly and silently, protecting
the man-made island from noise.
While the monorail was built, work was underway on all other parts
of the Palm. Contractors on road and building projects vied with
Obayashi for access to land and navigable channels have been dug
under the monorail. Mott MacDonald had to liaise with other
projects so that all could stay on schedule.
The monorail’s three car trains initially ran at intervals of eight
minutes, carrying 2400 passengers per hour. Ultimate capacity is
6000 per hour.
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