Etihad Rail and Hitachi Rail STS signed a AED 1.6 billion (USD 435.7 million) systems and integration contract for the second stage of the UAE’s national railway network.
Hitachi Rail STS will be responsible to design and build the railway systems related to its subsystems, in coordination with other Stage Two works and contracts, as well as managing uptime and operation tests.
The network will be equipped with a communications system and modern control centre with its main operations in Faya and another in Mirfa to support and provide maximum safety and efficiency. The centre can pinpoint the location of a train at any time and has the ability to control the speed limit and even stop the train when necessary. In addition, Etihad Rail is installing surveillance cameras and is following all necessary security procedures in coordination with the police departments of each emirate in the country.
The power system provided by Hitachi Rail STS will become the longest distribution network in UAE running for a length of 800 km and handling power of 11 kV (medium-high power). An important technical feature is that the operations centre will include a Crisis Management Unit able to communicate with all concerned parties across the country when needed (for example the Abu Dhabi Police, Civil Defence, etc.).
In addition, cameras and temperature sensors will be installed to detect any movement around the train track and route corridors. The network will be enhanced by preventive maintenance, where the system identifies predictions of potential errors before they occur and technicians can be immediately sent to carry out repairs, thus increasing the reliability of the network.
With the signing of the contract, Etihad Rail reaffirms its commitment to maintaining the highest levels of efficiency and safety in accordance with the latest international standards. The trains will be equipped with ETCS Level 2, which will ensure that trains can easily move between GCC countries without stopping at the borders.
“We are working with a strong will and determination to achieve a secure, modern and sustainable national railway network, and the awarding of the systems and integration contract is an important step in accomplishing this national strategic project, which is the future of a new transport sector in the country, and upgrades the transport and shipping sector in the UAE by linking ports to economic, industrial and residential areas,” said Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Etihad Rail.
The second stage of UAE railway network envisages the construction of a 605-km railway system from Ghuweifat to the Port of Fujairah. The country’s railway network will span approximately 1,200 km.
Stage One, a 264-km line transporting granulated sulphur from Shah and Habshan to its point of processing and export at Ruwais port, commenced operations in January 2016.