The UAE has taken the lead and embarked on the journey of promoting innovation regionally. Its government envisions a better future and promptly delivers it. Besides the drive towards innovation, the UAE continues to improve its position as a global logistic hub and a suitable investment destination. Consequently, various development projects have surfaced in recent years. Just as important, the developers and operators of the UAE’s national railway network led the development of Etihad Rail.

Etihad Rail – Megaproject Blazes A Trail Of Positive Change

Deemed as UAE’s largest rail network, Etihad Rail is committed to reinforcing the country’s growing status as a pivotal global centre for multimodal trade. It acts as a catalyst for economic growth and sustainable development. Noticeably, each decision is made with the goal of creating a net impact for the ever-expanding industries and communities dependent on the rail network. 

In the coastal village west of Abu Dhabi, the engineers, technicians, and mechanics are going the extra mile to keep the megaproject on schedule. It will expand from commuting heavy goods to carrying passengers between major cities of UAE by 2030.

The depot in Al Mirfa conducts itself as a centre of operations to maintain and sustain all the movements between the track and trains. It will be stretching across 1200 km once completed. Equally important, its existence will result in the reduction of carbon emissions by 80 per cent. Moreover, an investment of AED 50 billion in the project is expected to yield a return of AED 200 billion to the economy.

Let’s have a look in detail at the progress of the project so far, expecting it to meet the global supply-demand needs of today:

Phase I

Etihad Rail was established in 2006, but stage one of the project became operational in 2016. To illustrate, two tracks of 264 kilometres have been functional, running two freight trains from gas fields in Shah and Hanshan to an export point in Ruwais. These trains run across the country carrying 200 tons of granulated Sulphur each day and pull up to 110 wagons.

Up till now, these trains have transported 30 million tons of granulated Sulphur with zero injuries and without any lost-time incident. These freight trains replace almost 1.8 million truck trips. Surprisingly, it means that a single journey contributes to a reduction of up to 80% carbon dioxide as it will take over 300 trucks off the road.

Developers imported seven Electro-Motive Diesel locomotives equipped with in-cab European signalling systems for Phase I of Etihad Rail. Likewise, all wagons exhibit derailment protection, electronically controlled pneumatic brakes and other advanced safety and preventive measures.

In addition, the European Train Control System (ETCS) illustrates the signalling and movement, thanks to the data sent from trains to the Radio Block Center (RBC), which shows its position and directions.

Phase II

Phase II of Etihad Rail focuses on the travel and business sector of the region. Its objective is to connect all the seven Emirates to the five neighbouring Gulf countries. The plan will see the completion of a 605-kilometre additional track from Ghuwaifat, near the Saudi border, to Fujairah.

On the East Coast, the network will connect Abu Dhabi, KIZAD, Port Khalifa, Port Jebel Ali, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai, and Fujairah. This expansion will connect the current rail track at Ruwais, thereby connecting the UAE’s commerce centres and key industrial ports.

Furthermore, the UAE will acquire 38 more locomotives for the project’s second stage. These devices are capable of pulling a 100-wagon train, effectively replacing up to 5,600 vehicles every day.

The plans for further expansion are underway, and the project has been broken down into four distinct packages to guarantee swift progress:

  • Package A emphasises designing, construction, civil engineering, and work on the initial 139-kilometre track segment connecting Ruwais and Ghuwaifat.
  • Package B and C group Khalifa Port, Khalifa Industrial City (KIZAD), and Jebel Ali Port. Tarif to Saih Shuaib (216 km) and Jebel Ali to Sharjah (94 km) are available routes.
  • Package D is working on this 132-kilometre route that connects Sharjah and Fujairah. This route will take passengers through the Hajar Mountains and Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Fujairah.

Etihad Rail has signed contracts with governmental and non-governmental entities to secure swift constructions and smooth functioning. Moreover, the newly updated list of contractors consists of top companies worldwide.

Abu Dhabi – Dubai Passenger Train Will Transform UAE’s Rail Network

The passenger rail network of Etihad Rail will be able to commute 36 million people by the year 2030. The Abu Dhabi to Dubai passenger train test has begun, but the completion date is yet to be announced.

This track will operate parallel to the Emirates Road (E611) motorway. The train will pass through the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum Airport. It will take approximately 30 minutes for the journey from the capital to Dubai to complete. In comparison, the trip from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi will take around 100 minutes.

The objective is to combine Etihad Rail with the public transportation infrastructure that involves buses and metro with an integrated ticket and journey planning network. In the future, it will allow the passengers to travel across the country as well as connect to other countries in the region.

The First Glimpse Of Etihad Passenger Trains

In January 2022, the long-awaited reveal showed the striking contrast of silver and grey carriages that will redefine public transportation in the region. The pictures illustrated carriages carrying a red Etihad Rail logo along with a sleek and modern interior. Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, charging outlets, and a variety of food and beverage options will be available in carriages. These features and more will cater to all residents of the UAE, from families to employees to visitors.

Will Etihad Rail Help Businesses Operating In UAE?

The Etihad Rail network will bring a significant difference in the economic landscape. It will diminish the carbon footprint as well as revolutionize the logistics industry. Above all, it connects various socio-economic zones between Emirates and neighbouring Gulf countries. Consequently, it will make the UAE an attractive investment hub for foreigners.To learn more about the upcoming projects and infrastructure development in the UAE and a lot more, visit Zoom Property.

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