The UAE’s national railway project received a boost with the arrival of first shipment of wagons.
The project will be developed and operated by Etihad Rail. These newly arrived vehicles will be used for first stage of the rail project, which will link Habshan and Ruwais by 2013, and Shah and Habshan to Ruwais in the Western Region by 2104.
The China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) had been contracted to supply 240 covered wagons for the transport of granulated sulphur in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The United States-based Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), one of the world’s largest builders of diesel-electric locomotives, is also being engaged to design and manufacture seven heavy haul freight locomotives.
The initial stage of the project is being developed by Etihad Rail in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and is expected to be launched within a year. The second stage of project will connect the Abu Dhabi rail network to Jebel Ali in Dubai and also establish links with the border areas of Saudi Arabia and Oman. The railway network will also be linked to Khalifa Port during stage two of the project.
Northern emirates will benefit from the third phase of this project. After completion, the railway project will also form a part of the Gulf Cooperation Council Railway Network. This will link the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.
The UAE railway project is being viewed as a game changer in the transportation sector of the region. By closely linking all states, the rail project will pay a pivotal role in helping to promote regional trade and build a sustainable economy. The project is also expected to provide massive employment to people in various sectors and facilitate travel in the region.