Etihad Rail awards $436m contract to Italy's Hitachi Rail STS

Japan-owned firm to manage uptime, oversee operations tests, and handle the design and build of rail systems for Stage 2

Etihad Rail will cover more than 1,200km.
Etihad Rail
Etihad Rail will cover more than 1,200km.

Etihad Rail – the developer and operator behind the eponymous 1,200km federal railway network connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as Khalifa Port, Khalifa Industrial City, and Jebel Ali Port – has awarded a $435.6m (AED1.6bn) systems and integration contract for Stage 2 works to Italy-based transport systems company Hitachi Rail STS, which is owned by Japan’s Hitachi.

The contract, awarded during a board meeting chaired by HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Etihad Rail, will see Hitachi Rail STS manage uptime, oversee operation tests, and handle the design and build of railway systems related to its subsystems.

The contract was signed by Etihad Rail's chief executive officer, Shadi Malak, and CEO of Hitachi Rail STS, Christian Andy, in the presence of Sheikh Theyab, and Japan’s Ambassador to the UAE, Akihiko Nakajima.

The Hitachi Rail STS power system will become the longest distribution network in the country, running for a length of 800km and handling 11 kV of power.

Etihad Rail’s locomotives will be equipped with a European signalling system (ETCS Level 2), which will ensure that trains can move between GCC countries without stopping at the borders.

The federal railway network’s communications system and modern control centre will be able to pinpoint the location of a train at any time, control the speed of the train, and stop the train when necessary.

The operations centre will have a crisis management unit that will be able to communicate with Abu Dhabi Police, Civil Defence, and all other concerned parties across the UAE.

Etihad Rail is also installing surveillance cameras as part of necessary security procedures, in coordination with police departments from each emirate in the UAE, as part of the project.

Cameras and temperature sensors will be installed around the train track and route corridors to detect movement.

Commenting on the development, Sheikh Theyab said: “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.”

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