Etihad Rail, the country’s mega national network project, is expected to contribute 200 billion dirhams to the national economy by 2050, save 8 billion dirhams in road maintenance costs, and provide 23 billion dirhams in tourism revenue.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has officially opened the UAE’s freight train network, the latest stage of the project.
Sheikh Mohammed announced the launch of the freight network at the main control and maintenance center in Abu Dhabi’s Al Fayah region, state news agency WAM reported.
The network consists of a fleet of 38 locomotives and more than 1,000 wagons capable of transporting all types of goods.
It will connect four major ports and seven logistics centers across the country.
The network also includes charging stations in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi’s Industrial City, Khalifa Port, Dubai Industrial City, Jebel Ali Port, Al Ghail, and Fujairah Port.
These locations, which include customs warehouses and on-site cargo inspection services, serve as a major hub for local and regional distribution and logistics services.
“We are proud of the performance of our sons and daughters who have worked hard over the years to build an ambitious strategic project that will propel our national economy to greater heights,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Connecting the Emirates via a national railway network strengthens our capabilities and competitiveness, and consolidates our unity,” Sheikh Mohammed added.
One of the region’s largest infrastructure programs
The project, one of the region’s largest infrastructure programs, aims to connect all seven emirates via a main rail network.
The network, which spans various geographical terrains, includes 593 bridges and crossings as well as nine tunnels.
The freight trains have a capacity of 60 million tonnes of goods per year and can travel at speeds of up to 120kph.