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Etihad Rail has a achieved a new milestone in the development of the national rail network with the arrival of the first batches of the company’s new and advanced rolling stock fleet
Etihad Rail announced the news during an event, hosted by the company, which saw His Excellency Shadi Malak, chief executive officer of Etihad Rail, alongside Marty Haycraft, president and CEO of Progress Rail, and Henry Pang, executive director at CRRC, in attendance to unveil the new fleet.
The milestone coincides with Etihad Rail’s efforts to achieve the objectives of the UAE Railways Programme, the largest land transport system of its kind in the UAE, which was launched as part of the Projects of the 50, the largest set of national strategic projects that seek to set up a new phase of development across the UAE for the next 50 years.
The UAE Railways Programme aims to set a new roadmap for transporting goods and passengers via train across the country, which will contribute to developing a sustainable land transport system that connects cities of the UAE.
Mohammed Al Marzouqi, executive director of Rail Relations at Etihad Raid, said, “The arrival of the new fleet of locomotives and wagons to the UAE reflects the level of achievements that the Etihad Rail project is realising in the development of the UAE National Railway Network. Upon completion and becoming fully operational, the network will contribute to revitalising and bolstering economic growth in the UAE, particularly during the next 50 years, by providing reliable and safe freight services with high efficiency.”
The company is set to increase its fleet of heavy freight locomotives to 45, which is equivalent to six times its current stock. Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company of the US and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel and electric locomotives, will handle the manufacturing and supply of the new EMD SD70 electro-motive diesel fleet.
Etihad Rail has also increased the size of its wagon, with the new fleet aiming to house more than 1,000 multi-purpose wagons. China’s CRRC, one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable development solutions of the railway industry, will handle the manufacturing and supply of the new fleet.
Ben Quak, general manager of CRRC UAE, said, “CRRC is excited to be a partner in Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, contributing to the growth of Etihad Rail, the UAE, and the region by supporting the development of the rail industry. We are pleased to witness the successful delivery of the multi-function wagons, which will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and provide safe, sustainable and efficient services.”
The fleet is set to elevate the transport and logistical services system in the UAE, solidifying the country’s position in the logistics sector on the regional and international level. It will increase the capacity of the UAE National Rail Network to more than 60 million tonnes of goods per year. Etihad Rail’s new fleet will also contribute towards reducing carbon emissions by 70 to 80%.
The new fleet will be stored at Etihad Rail’s facilities in Al Mirfa until the completion of construction works on the UAE National Railway Network. The development of network is proceeding at a rapid rate, with 75% of the Stage Two project being completed within 28 months.