Construction of the railway line between Abu Dhabi and Dubai has been completed, authorities said on Tuesday.
The line stretches for 256 kilometres and includes 29 bridges, 60 crossings and 137 drainage channels, Abu Dhabi Media Office said.
About 13,300 workers toiled for more than 47 million hours to make it happen.
The segment of line is a key part of Etihad Rail's network that will carry passengers and freight between the emirates and, eventually, across the country.
A launch date for services between Abu Dhabi and Dubai has not been announced yet.
News of the completion was announced by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Etihad Rail.
“The completion of the main railway of the 'UAE National Rail Network' project between Dubai and Abu Dhabi represents an important pivotal phase that shows the great benefits of this national project in linking all the emirates of the country and enhancing the transportation process between industrial and economic centers, and facilitating transportation within the UAE," said Sheikh Maktoum.
Sheikh Theyab said: “The completion of the main railway will enhance the strategic position of the project at the transport and infrastructure levels, and contributes to the promotion of sustainable development in the UAE, and the consolidation of its position to remain in the first ranks at the regional and global levels.”
Etihad Rail released the first images of what the UAE’s new passenger trains will look like in January.
The silver and grey carriages will travel at speeds up to 200kph and can carry about 400 people, linking 11 cities and areas across the UAE from Al Sila in the west to Fujairah in the north when fully complete.
A launch date for passenger services has not been revealed but the announced in December of the service marked a key moment for Etihad Rail since its establishment in 2009.
Stage one – a freight service linking the gas fields at Shah and Habshan to Ruwais – opened in 2016, while stage two joins Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia to Fujairah on the east coast in a line running for about 1,200km.
The passenger and freight service will run on the stage two line and it is expected to carry more than 36 million passengers annually by 2030. Additions to the route are expected.