US firm to build trains for UAE rail network
Electro-Motive Diesel lands seven locomotive deal for undisclosed sum
Etihad Rail, the master developer of the UAE's national rail project, on Sunday said it has selected a US firm to build freight locomotives to be used on the network.
Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), one of the world's largest builders of diesel-electric locomotives and a unit of Caterpillar, will design and manufacture seven heavy haul freight locomotives for delivery by 2012.
A key milestone for the AED40bn project, the locomotives contract award is timed to support Etihad Rail's plan to have the first trains running in 2013.
Following a competitive tender process, Etihad Rail awarded the contract to the US-based company to design, manufacture, deliver, test and commission locomotives for stage 1 of the Etihad Rail network, running from Shah to Ruwais.
Etihad Rail CEO Richard Bowker said: "We are excited to be working with Electro-Motive Diesel as we are confident they will be able to provide stage 1 of our railway with locomotives designed and engineered to withstand the demanding climatic conditions of this region.
Etihad Rail gave no value for the order.
Etihad Rail, 70 percent owned by Abu Dhabi's government and 30 percent by the UAE federal government, plans to develop a 266km route for trains transporting up to 22,000 tonnes of granulated sulphur daily from sources in Shah and Habshan for export abroad at the port of Ruwais, the firm said.
The route marks the first phase of a 1,200 km freight and passenger network that will span the seven emirates, and ultimately connect the UAE to neighbouring Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The six Gulf Arab states plan to spend more than $100bn n on a rail project linking them up by 2017, with long-range plans to extend the high-speed network as far as Yemen in the south of the Arabian Peninsula.