QATAR: Testing is underway at the Rail Tec Arsenal climate chamber in Wien to verify that the 19 Avenio trams which are being built by Siemens for the Education City People Mover in Doha will be able to cope with the extreme heat and high humidity found in Qatar.

The 27 m long, three-section, 2 550 mm wide Avenio trams will have heavy-duty air-conditioning systems and special sun shades on the roof to protect against the high temperatures and intense desert light.

During the tests, humidifiers and heating pads are being used inside the tram to simulate the future passengers, while the chamber can provide artificial sunlight of up to 1 000 W/m2. This makes it possible to replicate typical Qatari winter and summer conditions, verifying that the onboard climate controls can keep a fully-loaded tram at a temperature of 25°C and with sufficient fresh air despite ambient temperatures of more than 40°C and 30% humidity.

The climate chamber also allows testing of the Sitras Hybrid Energy Storage double-layer capacity/battery units to ensure they will be able to charge quickly during short station stops whatever the temperature.

The 11·5 km catenary-free tramway is expected to open next year, serving the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development's education and research campus.