The UAE has completed work on its national railway network, which is anticipated to serve as a key part of the global supply network.

UAE National Rail Network’s main line spreads from Ghuweifat on the border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Fujairah.

Since January 2016, stage one of the national railway network has been operating at its full potential.

The project’s stage two commenced in early 2020.

According to UAE’s national railway network Etihad Rail, 11 contractors, 25 consultants, and 28,000 specialists are involved in the project, which received 40,000 approvals from 180 government agencies.

The project included the construction of 593 bridges and crossings of all types besides nine tunnels with a length of 6.5km.

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With a capacity of 60 million tonnes of goods per annum and over 1,000 multi-purpose vehicles, the region’s modern freight trains fleet consists of 38 locomotives that can run at a speed of up to 120km/h.

Operating under the European ETCS level 2 signalling system, these trains have been designed to operate under the geographical nature, climatic conditions, high temperatures and humidity in the GCC region.

The trains will link four key ports. It will cover seven logistics centres across the country to serve trains and related businesses.

The network features multiple charging stations in Ruwais, Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), Khalifa Port, Dubai Industrial City, Jebel Ali Port, Al Ghail and Fujairah Port.

In addition, the network will enable investors and customers to ship various types of goods, including petrochemicals, raw steel, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and domestic waste, aluminium, food commodities, and general cargo.

Etihad Rail chairman Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “Emirati talents, with the support of the UAE leadership, have turned the dream of our founding fathers into reality.

“Thanks to them we won the bet, and we succeeded in launching a railway network with international specifications that extends to about 900km across the Emirates.”