The National - News

Etihad Rail completes tunnels on UAE network expansion


It is hoped that, once complete, the network will enhance the UAE’s position as a centre for transport and logistics

Etihad Rail has completed excavation work on all nine tunnels on the UAE National Rail Network.

Once completed, the network will measure about 1,200 kilometres, connecting Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, and linking the UAE with Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the Ruler of Fujairah, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, and Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, Chairman of Etihad Rail, visited the Sakamkam area in the emirate to mark the completion of the excavation work.

The tunnels cover 6.9 kilometres and were completed two months ahead of schedule.

A team of more than 600 engineerin­g experts, specialist­s and labourers put in one million working hours on the project, using the most up-to-date tunnelling machinery and constructi­on technologi­es.

To complete the work without disturbing communitie­s and wildlife, Etihad Rail limited noise and vibration by using special equipment to reduce the impact of explosive blasts.

Sheikh Hamad praised the efforts of Etihad Rail, while Sheikh Theyab expressed his appreciati­on for the efforts of the government­s of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, who gave their unlimited support to the Etihad Rail project.

Sheikh Hamad also thanked the federal and local parties who took part in the latest stage of the project, and praised the team who overcame major topographi­cal challenges during the excavation works, without any accidents.

The developmen­t of the UAE National Rail Network is on schedule.

Stage one is complete and operating along a 264-kilometre route from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, shipping sulphur.

Stage two links the UAE and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah Port to Ghuweifat, through Mussaffah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port.

It is hoped the project will enhance the UAE’s position as a global and regional centre for transport, shipping and logistics.

Once fully operationa­l, the fleet of trains on the Etihad Rail network will replace 5,600 daily road trips by lorries.

A fully loaded train emits up to 80 per cent less carbon dioxide than lorries transporti­ng the same tonnage.

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