The developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail Network, Etihad Rail, has signed a strategic partnership with Western Bainoona Group to deliver rail freight services.

As per the agreement, Etihad Rail will provide services to Western Bainoona Group for transporting construction materials from its centres in Fujairah to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The aim of the partnership is to facilitate a sustainable and efficient mode of transport that strengthens the country’s economy.

It is said to be one of Etihad Rail’s largest commercial partnerships for stage two of the UAE’s National Rail Project.

Annually, nearly 4.5 million tonnes of Western Bainoona Group’s aggregates will be carried on 643 trains from its hubs in Fujairah to logistics facilities in the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD) and Dubai Industrial City.

Each train will have a length of around one kilometre.

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The rail operator will assign 70 wagons for each train, with an estimated capacity of 7,000t per trip.

The partnership is also expected to reduce annual road traffic by 120,000 truck trips.

Western Bainoona Group chairman Mohammed Khalfan Al Hameli said: “We look to leverage the freight solutions provided by the UAE National Rail Network, bolstering and facilitating trade between the emirates.

“In sum, the network will enhance the capacity of companies operating across the UAE. Companies can develop their business by redirecting assets and reducing transportation costs, efficiently utilising their time and resources to become active players in the development of the UAE.”

The UAE’s National Rail Network is one of the biggest infrastructure undertakings in the country.

Apart from bolstering the transport and logistics sector in the country, the project will deliver the safe and sustainable UAE National Rail Network.

In May this year, Etihad Rail and digital freight service provider Transportr signed an agreement to streamline service provision in the logistics sector.