There’ve been some ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ments in rail trans­port in the Mid­dle East. The first of the new 50 Dubai metro trains has been de­liv­ered to the Roads and Trans­port Au­thor­ity of Dubai (RTA) by Al­stom for static and dy­namic test­ing. Sev­eral im­prove­ments were in­tro­duced to the in­te­rior de­sign of the new metro car­riages to make more room for riders and in­crease the in­take of car­riages. Pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence has been en­hanced with wide gang­ways, large doors and win­dows, and des­ig­nated ar­eas for women and chil­dren, sil­ver and gold classes. The train is equipped with a full elec­tri­cal brak­ing sys­tem, LED light­ing and other eco-friendly sys­tems to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion.

In North Africa, Sigma Rail has com­pleted the first full 3D mod­el­ling of the fu­ture high­speed line be­tween Ra­bat and Casablanca in Mo­rocco. Dig­i­tal­iz­ing a rail cor­ri­dor us­ing mo­bile map­ping and min­ing data from 3D point clouds is a first-of-its-kind project in the MENA re­gion, in­tro­duc­ing a host of cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies for the re­gion’s in­fras­truc­ture busi­ness.

This month’s cover story fea­tures the con­crete pump­ing op­er­a­tions at the con­struc­tion site of the Medium Pyra­mid ho­tel apart­ment build­ing at the Fal­concity of Won­ders real es­tate project in Dubai. The Medium Pyra­mid is one of three pyra­mids – Small, Medium and Large – to be built at the Pyra­mid’s Park in Fal­concity of Won­ders, em­u­lat­ing the Egyp­tian ar­chi­tec­tural won­der in a modern day con­text. Since June 2018, Uni­beton has de­liv­ered 26,000m3 of con­crete to the Medium Pyra­mid site for con­struc­tion of 520 piles. Each pile re­quired 50m3 of con­crete trans­ported in five mixer trucks and poured through a truck-mounted con­crete pump. PMV Mid­dle East ac­com­pa­nied Uni­beton Ready Mix and Sch­wing Stet­ter on one of their ready-mix con­crete de­liv­ery trips to the site to find out more about the con­crete pump­ing process and its lo­gis­tics.

Could video gam­ing make bet­ter truck driv­ers and fleet man­agers? Czech com­pany SCS Soft­ware be­lieves so; the gam­ing de­vel­oper aims to make bet­ter truck driv­ers from the com­fort of their homes with truck driv­ing games that of­fer driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ences sim­u­lat­ing real con­di­tions as well as an en­vi­ron­ment that al­lows play­ers to pur­chase their own trucks, es­tab­lish their own trans­porta­tion com­pa­nies, and be­come fleet man­agers. The com­pany’s flag­ship ti­tle Euro Truck Sim­u­la­tor is pop­u­lar among truck en­thu­si­asts and pro­fes­sion­als world­wide. The first ver­sion of the game was launched in 2008. The sec­ond ver­sion, Euro Truck Sim­u­la­tor 2, was re­leased in 2012 and has sold over 5.5 mil­lion copies till date.

The spe­cial re­port in this is­sue ex­plores the mar­kets for skid-steer and com­pact track load­ers in the Mid­dle East. The high ini­tial in­vest­ment to own skid steer load­ers is re­strict­ing its mar­ket growth. How­ever, ven­dors are pro­vid­ing fi­nanc­ing op­tions to in­crease sales. This also re­sults in the min­i­mum im­pact on the bud­get of com­pa­nies to own the equip­ment.

We also ex­plore ad­vance­ments in brak­ing sys­tems. The work de­manded of a brak­ing sys­tem and the heat that it must dis­si­pate dur­ing brak­ing are di­rectly pro­por­tional to the mass of the ve­hi­cle and the speed it is trav­el­ling at when brak­ing starts. The brakes, there­fore, have to work the hard­est when the ve­hi­cle is fully loaded and at max­i­mum op­er­at­ing speed. Such con­di­tions are rel­a­tively com­mon for a com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle. Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer of au­to­mo­tive brake sys­tems Brembo tack­les the dif­fer­ent brak­ing chal­lenges of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty ve­hi­cles with ded­i­cated prod­uct devel­op­ment strate­gies for calipers, discs, park­ing brakes and ven­ti­la­tion sys­tems.

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