UAE Etihad Rail: Excavation work complete on Middle East's longest tunnel

(Etihad Rail)
(Etihad Rail)

Dubai - This is part of the country's efforts to establish a national railway.

By Staff Report

Published: Mon 26 Jul 2021, 11:35 AM

Last updated: Mon 26 Jul 2021, 2:04 PM

Excavation work on the Middle East's longest tunnel, being built as part of the Etihad Rail project, has been completed.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has completed the excavation work on the 1.8-kilometre tunnel. It was tunnelled through difficult geological conditions with softer blasts, Rail Journal said.

In December 2019, Etihad Rail had awarded a Dh4.6 billion tender for the civil works and construction of Package D of Stage Two of the UAE's national railway.

The 145-kilometre Package D includes the construction of 15 tunnels through the Hajar Mountains. The tunnels boast a total length of 16 kilometres, in addition to the construction of 35 bridges and 32 underpasses. This will connect Fujairah and Khorfakkan ports with a rail network at the Dubai-Sharjah border.

Etihad Rail had earlier awarded contracts for the design and build of Package A to a joint venture between the China State Construction Engineering Corporation and South Korea's SK Engineering and Construction. Packages B and C were awarded to a joint venture between the China Railway Construction Corporation and the Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Company.

This came as part of the company's mandate to establish a 1,200 km national railway network, which will also form an integral part of the proposed GCC Railway.

In June, Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, inaugurated the track laying at the railhead in Saih Shuaib, towards Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Etihad Rail has built factories to manufacture sleepers locally. The first of the two sleeper factories is located in Al Mirfa in the Al Dhafra region. The factory is able to produce 45,000 sleepers each month, manufacturing all units required for Stage One of the project.

The second factory, located in Saih Shuaib on the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, covers an area of over 9,000 square metres. Having taken 12 months to build and requiring 700,000 man-hours, the factory can produce 1.1 million sleepers.

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