Watch: Etihad Rail unveils first batch of advanced fleet of new trains

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New locomotives and wagons designed to withstand high temperatures and humidity levels


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 3:34 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 10:04 PM

Etihad Rail on Thursday announced the arrival of the first batches of the new state-of-the-art fleet of trains and locomotives.

The new fleet has been designed specifically to withstand high temperatures and humidity levels in the UAE and Gulf region to ensure the highest levels of performance and efficiency of the transport system.

The new wagons, which are equipped with the latest braking, signalling, control, communication, and safety systems, provide the higher capability to transport goods of various sizes, including petrochemicals, raw steel and its products, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and household waste, aluminium, food, and assorted goods. This will help slash transportation costs by 30 per cent and as well reduce road congestion caused by trucks.

Withstand high temperature

A statement issued by the developer and operator of the national railway network said it will increase the capacity of the UAE National Rail Network to more than 60 million tonnes of goods per year and also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70-80 per cent.

Each of the fleet’s new diesel-and-electricity-operated 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 for high effectiveness and efficiency in the desert regions.

The company has increased the size of its wagons, with the new fleet aiming to house more than 1,000 multi-purpose wagons, 3 times of its current fleet.

Etihad Rail aims to achieve the objectives of the UAE Railways Programme, the largest land transport system of its kind in the UAE. The Programme was launched as part of the Projects of the 50 to set a new roadmap for transporting goods and passengers via train across the country.

Meanwhile, Etihad Rail’s new locomotives are equipped with advanced technologies like the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2, which is the most advanced signalling system of its kind, for safety, security, and reliability.

Etihad Rail said each locomotive can pull 100 wagons, equivalent to the capacity of 300 trucks, while the volume of goods transported by these trains is equivalent to 5,600 daily truck trips.

Etihad Rail will increase its fleet of heavy freight locomotives to 45 heavy, which is equivalent to six times of its current fleet.

It has tied up with Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company of America, to handle the manufacturing and supply of the new electro-motive diesel locomotives. While China's CRRC Group will handle the manufacturing and supply of the new fleet of wagons.

Meeting the needs of all clients

Upon completion and becoming fully operational, Mohammed Al Marzouqi, executive director of the rail relations sector at Etihad Rail, said the network will revitalise and bolster economic growth, particularly during the next 50 years.

“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,” Al Marzouqi said.

He said the fleet suits the local and regional geography and climate and meets the current and future needs of Etihad Rail’s clients, including industrial companies, shipping companies, building materials suppliers, quarriers, and more.

Marty Haycraft, president and CEO of Progress Rail, said diesel-electric locomotives meet the highest global standards. “Etihad Rail’s new fleet is a great example of what our customers have come to expect from our advanced locomotives, which are designed to perform in extreme conditions,” he said.

Ben Quak, general manager of CRRC UAE, said the multi-function wagons will contribute to reducing carbon emissions and provide safe, sustainable, and efficient services.

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