Etihad Rail has completed the 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 link the UAE to 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 bin Zayed, chairman of Etihad Rail, visited the Sakamkam area in the emirate to mark the completion of the excavation works.
The tunnels extend over 6.9 kilometres and were completed two months ahead of schedule.
More than 600 experts, specialists, and labourers put in one million working hours on the project, using the latest tunnelling machinery and modern technologies.
To complete the work without disturbing local communities and wildlife, Etihad Rail took precautionary measures to limit the noise and vibrations, including using special equipment to reduce the impact of explosive blasts.
The Ruler of Fujairah lauded the efforts of Etihad Rail while Sheikh Theyab expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the governments of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, and their unlimited support for the Etihad Rail project.
Sheikh Hamad also thanked the federal and local parties who took part in this stage of the project, and praised the team who managed to overcome major topographical challenges during the excavation works, without any accidents.
The development of the UAE National Rail Network is proceeding according to schedule.
Stage one is complete and operating along a 264-kilometre route from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais, transporting sulphur.
Stage two links the UAE and Saudi Arabia from Fujairah Port to Ghuweifat, through Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port.
It is hoped the vast infrastructure project will enhance the UAE's position as a global and regional hub for transport, shipping and logistics.
Once fully operational, the fleet of trains and wagons running 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.