Dh1 Billion Etihad Trains Company Established

ABU DHABI — The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has approved a federal law decree for setting up a railways company, which will launch and run a state-of-the-art rail transport system to meet the rising transport requirements
in the country.

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Published: Fri 10 Jul 2009, 12:46 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 7:55 PM

Named Etihad Trains Company, the federal government entity will have a capital of Dh1 billion and “shall be an independent corporate body, involved in the transporting of goods and passengers”, according to a Wam report.

The company has been given the mandate to engage in the entire gamut of activities, including owning, leasing, renting, purchasing and selling of trains, besides investing in the transporting of passengers and goods.

The proposed rail system will run across the emirates and will strive to link the rural areas with the urban areas. The objective is to provide smooth, cheap and safe mode of transport for both passengers and goods.

The rail transport mode is expected to wean people away from using own vehicles and in turn to minimise environmental pollution.

As per earlier reports, the nationwide rail network from Al Ruwais in Abu Dhabi to Fujairah will have a double track being built in two phases.

In the first phase, an industrial railway network will be completed infive years.

The second phase will link the seven emirates with a passengerrail line.

Thecompleted project will have about 1,000 kilometres of tracks running from the coast to the Saudi border.However, it is not clear whether Etihad Trains Company will follow the same roadmap or devise a new action plan for the development of the rail network in the country. Khaleej Times had reported that an announcement was made at a Federal National Council (FNC) session in January this year that the Federal Railway Project tender would be floated in 2015.

During the session, Minister of Public Works Shaikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said the project had been submitted after a council committee conducted a study on the project.

Again, it is not clear whether this timeline will be adhered to or will it be altered considering the global economic downturn and the crash in prices of several construction materials, including steel.

Ministerial Council of Services approved a draft law for the establishment of a federal railway corporation in the third week of March.

With the President giving his approval, the project is fast approaching the implementation phase.

(With inputs from Wam)

ramavarman@khaleejtimes.ae



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