Etihad Rail set for Stage I operations

Full-scale railway commercial operations will reduce truck congestion and achieve quicker transportation

January, 2016

Commercial operations on the first stage of Etihad Rail’s network are to begin officially following approval the rail company won from the transport authority.

Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, will now move from its trial operations to commercial operations.

Stage One will transport sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais on two daily trains, each transporting 11,000 tonnes. This will dramatically decrease the number of trucks on the road, remarked Dr Abdulla Bilhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works and chairman of the Federal Transport Authority – Land & Maritime, who granted the approval at an official ceremony in Dubai.

The FTA accredited Etihad Rail’s operations partner Etihad Rail DB to commence commercial operations on the 264-km-route, which forms part of the wider UAE network spanning across 1,200 km and the future GCC network

“We are very pleased to have granted these important safety authorisations for the first stage of the UAE’s national rail network, allowing Etihad Rail to begin commercial operations,” said Dr Al Nuaimi.

“This is a result of the combined efforts of the FTA, Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi, the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai, Etihad Rail and Etihad Rail DB to ensure that this important strategic project for the future of the country operates to the highest standards,” he added.

Nasser Alsowaidi, chairman of Etihad Rail, said the start of commercial operations is one of the biggest milestones Etihad Rail has achieved to date and it is an incredibly proud day for the UAE and for the wider Middle East transport sector.

“During the past year, we have already transported more than three million tonnes of sulphur from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais for our customer, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), as part of the testing and commissioning and trial operations phases,” stated Alsowaidi.

“We now look forward to taking our operations to full commercial capacity, which will see Etihad Rail transport as much as seven million tonnes of sulphur every year,” he added.

The new federal law which outlines how the UAE will govern railways requires rail companies to present evidence to the FTA that it can safely operate and maintain a railway system.

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