Spotted in Dubai: New train being tested on Etihad Rail tracks

It looks very impressive, says resident who captured test runs of the closed-cabin wagons


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 5 Feb 2023, 1:14 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Feb 2023, 11:54 AM

A resident of a community in Dubai’s Al Qudra area has managed to capture the test runs of new trains on the tracks of the Etihad Rail. “For the past two or three days, I have been seeing the new trains on the track,” said Zamaqshari Zubair, a resident of Nshama townhouses near Al Qudra. “It looks very impressive.”

Zubair said he thought it was a passenger trains. However, Etihad Rail clarified that it was a freight train. According to the resident, the wagons were closed, leading him to believe they were the highly anticipated passenger ones.

Residents living in communities around the Al Qudra area, where the Etihad rail tracks run through Dubai, have been able to see the tracks progressing and test runs being conducted on a regular basis. These include those staying in Remraam, Mudon, Mira and Town Square communities.

Some residents had earlier told Khaleej Times how hearing the sounds of the train bring back memories from their home countries.

Fouad Ashraf, a resident of Arabella in Mudon, said: “I was able to recognise that it was a train because I am used to listening to [the sound of] trains in India. To be honest, it [feel] very nostalgic. Back home, I used to hear the trains all the time when I was living in my college hostel. Since then, I hear them regularly, particularly in the morning around 7.30am.”

A futuristic and sleek-looking passenger train was first displayed during the 51st National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi. During the epic celebrations in Abu Dhabi in December last year, the first prototype of the passenger train rolled in, as the audience waved and cheered.

The rail operator also took to Twitter to share a video, showing a train moving on a railway track:

The 1200-kilometre-long Etihad Rail project will connect all seven emirates and 11 major cities starting from the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia up to the country’s border with Oman. It is expected to revolutionise travel in the country when it is complete. Last year, the linking of Abu Dhabi and Dubai by a 256km railway line was completed, and residents around the new Dubai area have been able to watch the network progressing.

The passenger train, when it begins operation, will reduce commute time by 30-40 per cent– with travel times from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and from Dubai to Fujairah, expected to take only 50 minutes.

A top Etihad Rail official had earlier said that the railways will be integrated with all modes of transport so that passengers can get a “door-to-door” service, to ensure they reach their final destination from the station in the utmost comfort.


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