Etihad Rail board inspects UAE railway's progress
Board members inspected a section of the railway that opens this year
Etihad Rail board members have completed an inspection of the progress the UAE rail project is making, following a site visit to a section of the railway in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The inspection, led by HE Nasser Alsowaidi, chairman of Etihad Rail, encompassed a visit to a sleeper factory in Mirfa, inspection of recently arrived wagons, witnessing the process of laying sleepers and tracks, before a final stop at the trial sand mitigation site, which enables better understanding of windblown sand behaviour and its effect on the railway.
Stage One of the 1,200km-long rail project is on schedule for its inaugural journey in 2013, and Alsowaidi said that the board is looking forward to the milestone.
"We at Etihad Rail appreciate the unremitting support of our government for this project, which – once operational – will herald a new era of transport for the UAE. We look forward to the arrival of our locomotives this quarter and eagerly anticipate the first train running from Habshan to Ruwais by the end of this year.”
When finished, the UAE rail network will provide a link between many of the UAE's cities, as well as connecting with the GCC Railway Network – linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west, and Oman through Al Ain in the east.
As well as movement of passengers, businesses are expected to benefit from the transport option, and a number of major companies have already signed memoranda of understanding. These include: DP World, Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Cement Factory, and Arkan and Emirates Steel.
The US company Electro-Motive Diesel has delivered seven locomotives custom-built for desert conditions, while CSR of China was appointed to supply 240 covered hopper wagons for the movement of granulated sulphur in the Western Region