Etihad Rail completes tracklaying works for the main line in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah
Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, completed the main works of the UAE National Rail Network with the completion of the tracklaying works of the main line in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, as part of the last package of Stage Two of the project. The main line of the UAE National Rail Network extends from Ghuweifat on the border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and passes through the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Moving full steam ahead, Etihad Rail continues the tracklaying works in the emirate of Fujairah within the upcoming weeks, bringing it closer towards the completion of the UAE National Rail Network as per the set schedule. This comes in line with the goals of the National Railways Programme, the biggest integrated sustainable transport system in the UAE, which seeks to connect the Emirates via rail and accelerate the country’s sustainable economic development.
The line in Sharjah extends over 45 km and is part of the last package of the project, which is 145 km in length. Connecting the Emirate to the main line recorded more than 11.7 million work hours in 25 months. Around 2,900 workers and engineers took part in the project, which involved the track laying works and running quality checks for the new line. The line in Ras Al Khaimah, which extends over 5.7 km and connects the Emirate to the main line, recorded more than 1.3 million hours in 25 months, by around 350 workers and engineers.
Engineer Khuloud Al Mazrouei, Deputy Project Manager at Etihad Rail, said: “Today, we have made remarkable strides by completing the main works for the UAE National Rail Network and connecting it to the main lines in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, bringing us closer than ever to completing the network on schedule and achieving our objective of providing an efficient and sustainable transport network that links the country’s emirates, and connects the UAE with the region. This plays a key role in opening up new prospects in the logistics and transport industry, driving social development, and providing promising economic opportunities in the UAE and the region across a range of sectors.”
“We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the local government entities in the Emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah for their momentous support in making this project a reality. We are also proud to witness this step further drive the success of Etihad Rail in developing the strategic national project, particularly after the consecutive achievements that we have made, most recently connecting the railway freight station in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD) with the main line of Etihad Rail. We are moving on track towards perpetuating our success story, with the support of our exceptional national and global talents who are contributing to enhancing the UAE’s infrastructure sector,” she added.
Last package of Etihad Rail project
The last package of Stage Two of Etihad Rail project, which runs for 145 km from Sharjah to Fujairah port, passing through Ras Al Khaimah, saw important developments. In May 2022, Etihad Rail commenced track laying operations of the package, which coincided with the visit of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, to inspect the latest developments.
The line in the last package of Stage Two has 54 bridges and 20 animal crossings. It also has 9 tunnels which extend over 6.9 km along Al Hajar Mountains, and include the longest tunnel in the GCC for heavy cargo, which extends over 1.8 km. This line passes through one of the most difficult geographical areas due to the mountainous terrain surrounding it.
Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law no. 2, with a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network.
The railway network will be built in phases to link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network linking the six countries of the GCC: The Kingdom of Bahrain, The State of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE.Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will act as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Once complete, the railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region; thus providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable network which will connect the UAE and its regions to its neighbouring GCC countries.