Etihad Rail says freight network fully operational

Developer of UAE's national rail network pledges to keep businesses on the move

Etihad Rail says its freight services are now fully operational. Photo: Etihad Rail
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Etihad Rail has vowed to keep the UAE on the move after announcing its vast freight train network is now fully operational.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, officially opened the freight line in February.

It consists of a fleet of 38 locomotives and more than 1,000 wagons.

It is a central part of the UAE's national rail project, which will eventually connect the Emirates to the rest of the Gulf.

"We have now fully started freight train operations," Etihad Rail stated on Twitter this week, accompanied by video footage of the rail service in action.

"We offer comprehensive transportation solutions that meet all your business needs.

"Thanks to our advanced fleet, we can transport all types of goods efficiently across the UAE. Book the right shipping service for you now, and let's move together."

The freight route connects four major ports and seven logistics centres across the country.

It includes a number of charging stations located in Ruwais, the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port, Dubai Industrial City, Jebel Ali Port, Al Ghail and Fujairah Port.

These locations are a major hub for local and regional distribution and logistics services, as they include customs warehouses and on-site cargo inspection services.

When complete, the rail network — including passenger services — will stretch about 1,200 kilometres across the country.

Etihad rail said the key transport project will contribute to an overall reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 21 per cent by 2050 and will help to cut road transport emissions per capita by 40 per cent in the same time period.

An opening date for passenger lines is still to be confirmed, but officials have previously said they it is expected to serve more than 36 million people annually by 2030.

A 400-seat Etihad Rail passenger carriage took centre stage during the UAE's National Day live show in December.

Etihad Rail is set to boost growth in regional trade and promote economic integration while attracting more investment into the UAE's key industries, Emirates NBD said last month.

The unified rail network will help to maintain the country's attractiveness as a destination for investment and business, according to the study released by the research arm of the leading Dubai bank.

“Trade and freight transport services have been historically important in the development of the UAE and Dubai, in particular, with the city having long been a key entrepot for regional trade flows,” Daniel Richards, Mena economist at Emirates NBD Research, wrote in the report.

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Updated: April 05, 2023, 11:36 AM