The cutting-edge fleet of locomotives will raise the bar in the transportation system and logistics services in the country. WAM
Business Bureau, Gulf Today
The Board of Directors of Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway, has awarded a contract for the supply of locomotives for the UAE’s nationwide rail network to Progress Rail Locomotive Inc., a Caterpillar company, expanding the company’s fleet to 45 locomotives, which is equivalent to 6 times the current fleet consisting of 7 locomotives.
In the presence of Sheikh Theyab Bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, the contract was signed by Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, and Ramzi Imad, Progress Rail’s Regional Director of International Sales for North Africa and Middle East.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed said: “we are moving forward in completing all the necessary components for this national project that contributes to the UAE’s progress and enhances the country’s prestigious global position. The cutting-edge fleet of locomotives will raise the bar in the transportation system and logistics services in the country and increase the network’s annual capacity to more than 60 million tons, compared to the current annual capacity of approximately 7.2 million tons.”
Etihad Rail contracted Progress Rail, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of diesel-electric locomotives, to design, manufacture, test, and ship 38 EMD locomotives especially designed to withstand the high temperatures and humidity of the gulf region. Additionally, the locomotives fleet will be equipped with a state-of-the-art air filtration system that filters sand from the air intake and pulse cleaning systems, ensuring effective and efficient operations while passing through desert areas.
The locomotives feature powerful motors and will be supported by advanced emission reduction technology, reducing carbon emissions by 70-80%. The locomotives are designed to haul a 100-wagon train, which can replace 5,600 on-road truck trips per day.
The agreement increases the fleet of Etihad Rail to 45 heavy 4,500 HP locomotives, which are among the most powerful locomotives in the region. Since Etihad Rail became operational in 2016, the company’s current fleet of 7 locomotives has contributed to decreasing the number of truck trips on the roads of Al Dhafrah by more than one million, with up to 28 million tons of granulated sulphur transported from sources at Shah and Habshan to the processing and export point at Ruwais.
The signing of the contract follows the awarding of all civil works contracts for Stage Two of the national railway network, the launch of construction works of Package A of Stage Two, and the award of a contract to build a series of freight facilities for the rail network, underlining the company’s consistent and strong performance to complete one of the biggest and most important infrastructural projects in the country. The agreement increases the fleet of Etihad Rail to 45 heavy 4,500 HP locomotives, which are among the most powerful locomotives in the region.
Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law No. 2, with the mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network. The railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned railway network across the GCC.
Etihad Rail has successfully completed Stage One of the network. Stage One is fully operational and was delivered on schedule and within budget. The route spans 264 km, transporting granulated sulphur from sources at Shah and Habshan to the export point at Ruwais. Stage Two links the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah Port to Ghuweifat through Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port. Built to international standards, Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will span approximately 1,200 km, acting as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development. Upon completion, the railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that will connect all regions of the UAE to its neighbouring GCC countries.
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Mohammed Rashid Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of Relations at Etihad Rail, stated that the total value of contracts for the second phase of its national railway network project amounted to Dhs18 million.
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