UAE-based Etihad Rail has awarded a contract to China’s CRRC to deliver 842 new wagons.

Under the agreement, CRRC will be responsible for the manufacture, supply and commissioning of the new wagons.

In a tweet, Etihad Rail said: “As Stage Two progresses, we are tripling our fleet by adding 842 new wagons, reaching beyond 1,000 wagons.

“The new fleet includes four different types of wagons with different capacities, which increases Etihad Rail’s annual transport capacity to reach up to 59 million tonnes.”

The contract was awarded during an online ceremony attended by Etihad Rail chairman Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and CRRC president Sun Yongcai.

The Emirates News Agency stated that the CRRC wagons will comply with the specific GCC requirements, which include breaking, signalling, and communications control and safety systems.

They will also be customised according to the general environmental conditions and those of the country.

Through a three-fold increase in the wagons fleet, the annual transport capacity of Etihad Rail will grow by eight times.

The wagons will be used to transport containerised and bulk freight such as petrochemicals, aggregates, construction related materials and industrial and perishable goods, among others.

The different wagon types are said to offer the needed flexibility, schedule frequency, and scale by the market. This will help in reducing costs and increasing efficiency for users.

All contracts for Stage Two of the Etihad Rail network have been awarded, with plans approved and ground broken on the rail corridors of Stage Two.

Stage Two of the project involves the construction of a 605km rail link between Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia and Fujairah on the east coast.

In February, Etihad Rail signed a contract to procure 38 locomotives from US-based Progress Rail Locomotive, a Caterpillar company.

In December 2019, the operator awarded civil works and construction contract to deliver Package D of Stage Two of its rail network.