Etihad Rail unveils the first batch of new rolling stock

locomotives and wagons

Etihad Rail received the first batch of locomotives and wagons from Progress Rail and CRRC at the Zayed and Al Musaffah Ports which will operate the UAE rail network upon its completion.

The milestone was announced during an event, which was organised by Etihad Rail at Al Mirfa city in the Al Dhafrah region in Abu Dhabi, to unveil the new fleet of locomotives and wagons. The event was attended by His Excellency Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, alongside Marty Haycraft, the President and CEO at Progress Rail and Henry Pang, Executive Director – MENA at CRRC, in addition to a number of senior officials from all sides.

The first batches have arrived in the UAE through Zayed and Al Musaffah Ports, which comes as part of Etihad Rail’s commitment to expanding its fleet of trains to serve the entire network. The company will increase its fleet of heavy freight locomotives to 45 heavy transport locomotives, which is equivalent to 6 times of its current fleet. Progress Rail will handle the manufacturing and supply of the new EMD SD70 diesel-electric locomotives.

The new rolling stock will be stored at Etihad Rail’s facilities in Al Mirfa until the completion of construction works on the national railway network. The development of the network is proceeding at a rapid pace and marking a number of achievements, the most recent being finishing 75% of Stage Two of the project within 28 months.

Through this procurement, the company has increased the size of its wagons, with the new fleet aiming to house more than 1,000 multi-purpose wagons, 3 times of its current fleet. China’s CRRC Group will handle handling the manufacturing and supply the new fleet of wagons.

In 2020, Etihad Rail awarded Progress Rail a contract to supply 38 EMD locomotives especially designed to withstand the high temperatures and humidity of the gulf region.

The diesel-electric locomotive fleet provides 4,600 BHP, which makes it one of the most powerful engines running on the rail networks in the Middle East. The locomotives are equipped with the latest filtering innovations such as the pulse sand filtering system, which ensures that the train operates at high effectiveness and efficiency when passing through desert regions. They also incorporate and comply the latest technologies and standards for reducing emissions. They are equipped with advanced on-board technologies and systems like the ETCS Level 2,  to ensure safety, security, and reliability, in addition to efficiency and sustainability.

Each locomotive can pull 100 wagons, which is equivalent to the capacity of 300 trucks. The volume of goods transported by these trains is equivalent to 5,600 daily truck trips.

The contract signed in 2021 with CRRC Yangtze covers the delivery of 842 new freight wagons of four different types. The wagons are equipped with the latest braking, signalling, control, communication, and safety systems. The variety of wagons will enable a higher flexibility and capability in transporting goods of various sizes, including petrochemicals, raw steel and its products, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and household waste, aluminum, food, and assorted goods. This helps reduce transport costs by 30% and increase logistic efficiency, which drives economic success for clients and users of the network. In addition, railway transport will reduce road congestion caused by trucks, which are currently the only shipping method.

“We made sure that the company’s new fleet is among the most modern in the region and the world, providing the highest safety criteria in terms of design, ensuring the best specifications for sustainability and environmental protection, and integrating the latest technologies for train operation and monitoring,” said Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of Rail Relations Sector at Etihad Rail.

The fleet will increase the capacity of the UAE rail network to more than 60 million tonnes of goods per year. Etihad Rail’s new fleet will also contribute towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70%-80%.

The achievement comes in line with Etihad Rail’s efforts to achieve the objectives of the UAE Railways Programme which was launched as part of the Projects of the 50, the largest set of national strategic projects that seek to set up a new phase of development across UAE for the next 50 years. The UAE Railways Programme aims to set a new roadmap for transporting goods and passengers via train across the country, which will contribute to developing a sustainable land transport system that connects the cities of the UAE via railways.



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