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Dubai launches its new automated train system

An illustration of Jebel Ali Station in Dubai.

An illustration of Jebel Ali Station in Dubai. Photo from Dubai's Road and Transport Authority.

Well look at that: Dubai opened its new automated train system yesterday. Welcome to the club!

Check out this Washington Post article for more info—the metro apparently has a VIP train section and a section for women and children. Also, the cost of the system is over the original estimates by 80 per cent, a price tag of US$7.6 billion so far.

And for you SkyTrain enthusiasts, yes, Dubai will eventually have the world’s longest automated metro system at 70 km, once its Green Line opens in June 2010 (see Wikipedia). But until then, our SkyTrain system—that’s Expo, Millennium and Canada Lines all together—is still the longest at roughly 67 km :)


  • By Jamey, September 9, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

    I say Translink should build a random 4km stretch of Skytrain to keep this record!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 9, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

    Indeed :) We should take up a collection!

  • By Tsushima Masaki, September 9, 2009 @ 3:04 pm

    I suppose we’ll just have to wait for the Evergreen and Broadway lines to materialize to reclaim the distinction.

  • By Dave2, September 9, 2009 @ 3:14 pm

    How about VCC-Clark to Broadway-City Hall? That would actually be quite useful!

    Not quite 4 km though, better go all the way to Granville :)

  • By Donald, September 9, 2009 @ 3:24 pm

    Random? VCC-Clark to VGH Station would be 3.5km. Hint hint.

  • By David, September 9, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

    Why not? I’m sure TransLink has an extra $600-900 million just sitting around.

    Get real people we’re going to lose 40% of our bus service hours in the next couple of years unless TransLink gets a significant amount of new funding. Building more elevated or underground ALRT should be the very last thing they’re thinking about doing. Let Dubai suffer the 80% cost overruns!

  • By mike, September 9, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

    Let’s finally finish the Evergreen line, and there’s your extra 11 km.

  • By jim, September 9, 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    If we keep building our lines as planned then we will more then certainly keep our title. The benfit is of course we end up having the title and have a awesome transit net work in the process. This will make Vancouver a even better place to live!

  • By Dave 2, September 9, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

    David, you’re probably right, I’t settle for evening service on the #84 until midnight 7 days a week.

  • By zack, September 9, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

    If we build the Evergreen Line,the UBC Line, and extend the Expo Line in Surrey then we’ll ultimately keep our title. But even if Dubai beats us in terms of longest ALRT they can’t beat us in terms of two things. First of all at least we have the west coast mountains and rivers to watch while in the train than the boring desert and glass buildings in Dubai. And(at least in my opinion)our new Mark IIs and Canada Line trains look much better than the new trains in Dubai.

  • By Donald, September 10, 2009 @ 7:20 am

    David, we’re all aware of Translink’s funding woes but we can dream of a network of metros and trams crisscrossing the city, can’t we? Maintain status quo until we get through this recession then forge on forward with new projects.

  • By Jimbo, September 10, 2009 @ 9:00 am

    “We’ll have to reduce bus service back to 1970’s levels if we don’t get more funding.” Translink is just zooming towards the three levels of government in a game of chicken, seeing who will blink first.

    Jhenifer and the rest of us are just daring to dream about a better city and a better world.

    In other news check out the fares on the Dubai train: Rides start at 1.8 dirhams, or about 50 U.S. cents. A gold-class trip (with leather seats in the VIP section) on the length of the system costs up to 13 dirhams, or $3.55, one-way.

  • By Nick, September 10, 2009 @ 9:50 am

    Ya, I would really like to see the evergreen line, the broadway line, an extension of the expo line into surrey, an extension of the canada line to the ferries and a new line from King George station down king george hwy down to White Rock. That would be AWESOME.

    also, that station in this post looks friggin’ sweet!

  • By Jot, September 10, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    Segregated public transit by financial means and sex. Yikes. I vote we keep what we have, who cares who gets the longest line.

  • By zack, September 10, 2009 @ 11:54 am

    Hey! Why don’t we extend the Canada Line from Richmond-Brighouse to Newton Exchange? that will definitely reduce volume on the Alex Fraser Bridge.

  • By Alain, September 10, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    Go Evergreen Line….go Broadway/Surrey Extensions!!!

  • By diane, September 12, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

    my dad is one of those engineers who build this.. =) he’s a Filipino..and he’s working in dubai for almost 5 years.. i’m proud of him.

Other Links to this Post

  1. re:place Magazine — September 10, 2009 @ 10:03 am

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