First phase of an expansive national project is expected to be completed this year
Railway developments are moving forward in Abu Dhabi. The first phase of an expansive national project is expected to be completed this year.
A national network will decrease the emirate’s dependence on increasingly busy highways, and could help GDP growth.
Abu Dhabi came one step closer to extending its railways across the UAE in March, when Etihad Rail, a government-backed entity charged with developing a $10.89bn rail network across the country, secured $1.28bn of project financing from a group of local and international banks.
Work is already underway to complete the first of the project’s three stages, a freight line running from the port of Ruwais to Habshan and Shah. It will enhance transport of oil and gas resources to ports on the Arabian Gulf coast.
Phase one is expected to commence operation in 2014, with phase two, connecting Abu Dhabi to Dubai, currently in the tendering process.
Once finished, the 1200-km project will stretch from Al Ghweifat on the Saudi border to Ruwais, Liwa, Shah, Dubai, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Khor Fakkan.
Eight of the 13 main transport centres along the network will be located in Abu Dhabi. Etihad Rail officials believe the project will contribute $952.65mn to GDP by 2030.