Etihad Rail completes connection between ICAD railway freight terminal and UAE National Rail Network

The facility will comprise more than 22 buildings and major structures to support operations, processing up to nine trains a day

Etihad Rail has completed the connection between the railway freight terminal at the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD) and the UAE National Rail Network. The rail owner/operator said that the terminal at ICAD is the largest inland freight terminal in the country, spanning just over 2.7m square feet, and will comprise more than 22 buildings and major structures to support operations, processing up to nine trains a day.

The facility will enable the distribution of goods across GCC countries and the UAE, where it will connect quarries in the northern emirates to industrial centres in the Musaffah area, in addition to connecting Ruwais, Khalifa Port and the container companies in Dubai within Jebel Ali Port. The containers will be hauled by rail to and from other freight facilities following a road journey to the end-user location, a statement from Etihad Rail noted.

As such, track-laying works and conducting successful tests on the new line have been completed. It extends from the borders of Saudi Arabia to the port of Fujairah, on the eastern coast, passing through key manufacturing hubs and urban centres, Etihad Rail added.

In April 2022, Etihad Rail announced a new freight terminal at Dubai Industrial City.

Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of Rail Relations Sector at Etihad Rail, said: “Connecting the railway freight terminal at ICAD with Etihad Rail’s main line ensures our readiness to start providing our clients with logistics solutions by linking Abu Dhabi with various industrial centres and import and export points. This milestone brings us closer to achieving our goal of providing an integrated transport system that connects the industrial and manufacturing centres with freight terminals and ports across the emirates. The strategic location of the ICAD railway freight terminal will also drive value for all our customers as it is the largest indoor railway freight terminal in the UAE.”

“We are proud of this achievement, which supports our efforts to encourage companies to restructure their logistical operations and opt for rail logistics solutions, thereby cutting costs, increasing efficiency, and providing safer transportation of goods. This is exemplified by the trade agreements that we have made with some of the biggest companies in the UAE, such as Stevin Rock LLC, Western Bainoona Group, and Al Ghurair Iron & Steel LLC.

Our network will have a positive impact on end users, as it will contribute to reducing trucks on roads and bring down their maintenance costs. It will further drive the sustainable development that we are witnessing across the UAE, by enabling a positive socioeconomic impact on industry, commerce, the environment, and more,” he added.

In June, Etihad Rail signed a $326.7mn deal for passenger trains with CAF.

This achievement comes in line with the goals of the UAE Railway Programme, he said. The programme aims to connect the country’s key centres of industry and production, open new trade routes and facilitate population movement.

The railway freight terminal will act as a logistics hub for heavy industries enabling a seamless distribution of raw materials and machinery for manufacturers, in addition to facilitating better connections to vital trade infrastructure, such as ports. It will also offer customs services, which will make ICAD tenants more competitive, Etihad Rail noted.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the new railway freight terminal will offer a range of competitive advantages for businesses, at the highest levels of efficiency in terms of transport costs and sustainability. When fully operational, the ICAD railway freight terminal will foster a more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable transportation capacity, and process over 15m tonnes of loose raw materials, 1.5-tonnes of general cargo, and around 116,600 20-foot shipping containers annually.

Upon the completion of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, Etihad Rail will provide logistics solutions from the railway terminal, which is located at the heart of the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi, burgeoning hub of industrial companies in the area.

In August, Etihad Rail said that it had received its first batch of new and advanced rolling stock.

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