Etihad Rail: First passenger station to be built in Fujairah

Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Etihad Rail, visits the line

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Etihad Rail plans to build its first passenger train station on the UAE's east coast, it has been announced.

The station is to built in the Sakamkam area of Fujairah, close to the city centre, Abu Dhabi Media Office said on Thursday.

The office reported that Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, visited the 145-kilometre stretch of line that is being built from Sharjah to Fujairah Port and Ras Al Khaimah.

During the visit, which started in Al Suyoh area in Sharjah and ended in Sakamkam, Sheikh Theyab inspected prime landmarks on the project’s route. These included the rail bridge in Al Suyoh area in Sharjah, a stop in Fujairah to visit Al Bithnah bridge and several tunnels that pass through the Hajar Mountains.

The move represents another major step forward for Etihad Rail's network with the railway line between Abu Dhabi and Dubai completed in March.

Once operational, passenger trains will travel at speeds of up to 200 kilometres an hour and can carry about 400 people. The services will link 11 cities and areas across the UAE.

No start date for the passenger service has been made public, but officials have said more than 36 million people will use the service annually by 2030.

Etihad Rail's network runs across the UAE. Photo: Etihad Rail

Trains deal signed

Sheikh Theyab, who was accompanied by Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, also witnessed the signing of a deal between Etihad Rail and Spain’s CAF company for designing, manufacturing, supplying and maintaining passenger trains for the rail project valued at Dh1.2 billion ($326.7 million).

Sheikh Theyab noted the support and guidance of the President, Sheikh Mohamed, for Etihad Rail’s ambitious national project over the past years.

He also lauded the deal, which is a major step forward in the development of the UAE’s passenger service.

"The agreement was signed in Sakamkam area, where the first passenger train station will be built in the heart of Fujairah city," Abu Dhabi Media Office reported.

Passenger service a major step forward

A launch date for the passenger service has not yet been announced, but carriages will be equipped with vital amenities such as Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, charging points and various food and beverages options.

There will also be different seating segments, including first class, business class and economy.

Customers can expect a travel time of 50 minutes between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and about 100 minutes from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah, cutting commutes significantly. Construction of the UAE-wide network is advancing rapidly with close to 70 per cent of the twin-track route built.

The line from Sharjah to the east coast comprises 54 bridges and 20 wildlife crossing points. It also has nine tunnels, which extend for 6.9km through the Hajar Mountains, including the largest heavy freight railway tunnel in the Arabian Gulf that runs for 1.8km.

In November 2021, Etihad Rail completed the excavation works for all rail tunnels in this route, two months ahead of schedule and in compliance with the highest safety and sustainability standards. This was achieved using the latest tunnelling equipment and the best modern technology.

News of the first passenger station comes a day after Etihad Rail posted details of a huge bridge over the Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The bridge will allow carriages to gain access to Jebel Ali Port through a terminal there.

The train will also boost the UAE's sustainability efforts. Carbon emissions will be reduced by 70 to 80 per cent, compared with the amount emitted by lorries, with one single train journey replacing about 300 lorries on the road.

The Etihad Rail route - in pictures

Updated: June 23, 2022, 9:38 AM
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