UAE News: Etihad Rail welcomes first batches of high-tech locomotives
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Etihad Rail welcomes first batches of high-tech locomotives

Etihad Rail welcomes first batches of high-tech locomotives

The new fleet was designed specifically to withstand the geographic, climate conditions, and the high temperatures and humidity levels common in the GCC

Neesha Salian
Etihad Rail new wagons fleet being offloaded

Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has received the first batches of its new and state-of-the-art rolling stock fleet.

The locomotives and wagons reached the UAE via Zayed and Al Musaffah Ports.

The company is scaling up its fleet of heavy freight locomotives to 45 heavy transport locomotives, which is equivalent to six times of its current fleet.

Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company of America and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel and electric locomotives, will handle the manufacturing and supply of the new EMD SD70 electro-motive diesel locomotives.

The company has also increased the size of its wagons, with the new fleet aiming to house more than 1,000 multi-purpose wagons, three times its current fleet.

China’s CRRC Group, one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable development solutions of the railway industry, will handle handling the manufacturing and supply the new fleet of wagons.

Mohammed Al Marzouqi, executive director of Rail Relations Sector at Etihad Rail said: “The arrival of the new fleet of locomotives and wagons to the UAE on schedule reflects the level of the achievements that the Etihad Rail project is realising in the development of the UAE National Railway Network. Upon completion and becoming fully operational, the network will contribute to revitalising and bolstering economic growth in the UAE, particularly during the next 50 years, by providing reliable and safe freight services with high efficiency. The network will also contribute to the region’s economic growth upon its connection with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) network, which will consolidate the UAE’s position as a regional and global centre for shipping and logistics services.”

Al Marzouqi added: “We made sure that the company’s new fleet is among the most modern in the region and the world, providing the highest safety criteria in terms of design, ensuring the best specifications for sustainability and environmental protection, and integrating the latest technologies for train operation and monitoring. We also ensured that the fleet suits the local geography and climate in the UAE and the region and meets current and future needs of Etihad Rail’s clients, including industrial companies, shipping companies, building materials suppliers, quarriers and more.”


Etihad Rail new locomotive fleet being offloaded
Etihad Rail’s new locomotive fleet being offloaded

Fleet highlights

  • The fleet is set to elevate the transport and logistical services system in the UAE. It will increase the capacity of the UAE National Rail Network to more than 60 million tonnes of goods per year.
  • Etihad Rail’s new fleet will contribute towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70-80 per cent.
  • Each of the fleet’s new diesel-and-electricity-operated Electro-Motive Diesel EMD SD70 locomotives, provides 4,600 BHP, which makes it one of the most powerful engines in the Middle East. The locomotives are equipped with the latest filtering innovations such as the pulse sand filtering system, which ensures that the train operates at high effectiveness and efficiency when passing through desert regions. They also incorporate and comply the latest technologies and standards for reducing emissions.
  • The trains are equipped with advanced on-board technologies and systems like the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2, the most advanced signalling system of its kind, in order to ensure safety, security, and reliability, in addition to efficiency and sustainability.
  • Each locomotive can pull 100 wagons, which is equivalent to the capacity of 300 trucks. The volume of goods transported by these trains is equivalent to 5,600 daily truck trips.
  • The wagons are equipped with the latest braking, signalling, control, communication and safety systems.
  • The variety of wagons will enable a higher flexibility and capability in transporting goods of various sizes, including petrochemicals, raw steel and its products, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and household waste, aluminum, food, and assorted goods. This helps reduce transportation costs by 30 per cent and increase logistic efficiency, which drives economic success for clients and users of the network.
  • In addition, railway transport will reduce road congestion caused by trucks, which are currently the only shipping method.

The new locomotives and wagons will be stored at Etihad Rail’s facilities in Al Mirfa until the completion of construction works on the UAE National Railway Network.

The development of the network is proceeding at a rapid pace and marking a number of achievements, the most recent being finishing 75 per cent of ‘Stage Two’ of the project within 28 months.

In recent news, Etihad Rail recently signed an agreement with Spanish company, CAF, valued at Dhs1.2bn. According to the agreement, CAF will design, manufacture supply and provide maintenance for passenger trains as per European standards.

Read: Etihad Rail: Agreement signed for passenger trains worth Dhs1.2bn

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