Etihad Rail has completed the construction of 75% of the Stage Two of UAE rail network in 28 months on more than 3,000 construction sites. The company has finalised the excavation works of all tunnels (6.9 km), as well as the 256 km of the mainline between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“We achieved a milestone of the UAE rail network as we have completed 75% of the Stage Two. The rail access will develop the transport system for passenger and freight sectors. The mandate to give a rail network is unique as it supports the business sector, the development of the economy and provides connectivity throughout the country. Railway programme is a testament of this vision and by providing connected, fast and safe transport services, we will change public perception,” Shadi Malak, the CEO of Etihad Rail said at Middle East Rail 2022 held in Abu Dhabi.
The representative of UAE rail company has invited transport companies to transport their products using rail services contributing to the development of this transport mode and also to the reduction of emissions.
“Let’s start to engage into rail development which will bring opportunities for the entire industry and logistics chain and will also contribute to the reduction of emissions – one train removes 300 trucks from the road,” Shadi Malak said.
The Stage Two of UAE rail system extends the current network by 605 km and when completed, the entire system is expected to carry 60 million tonnes of goods per year, reducing transport costs by 30%.
As part of the second stage, Etihad Rail is developing the rail freight terminal at DIC situated in the proximity of Jebel Ali Port, Al Maktoum International Airport and the road network of Dubai. The new terminal will have a capacity of 5 million tonnes.
In addition, the company is also focusing on the development of rail passenger transport services across the country with trans expecting to reach 200 km/h. The new services will be connected to key centres of trade and expects to reach 36 million passengers per year by 2030. Etihad Rail is working on providing passengers connections to 11 cities. Recently, the company and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) have signed a AED 2 billion (USD 544.5 million) agreement to develop passenger transport services.
In December 2021, Etihad Rail unveiled its USD 13.6 billion investment strategy for country’s rail system which in the future will provide connections from the border of Saudi Arabia to the border of Oman.