Etihad Rail: Transporting cargo today; passengers next

The Etihad Rail network will span approximately 1,200km across the UAE. (Supplied)

UAE’s national railway developer Etihad Rail has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ceva Logistics to offer a cost-effective and reliable mode of transport to one of the world’s leading supply chain management companies.

The multi-modal connectivity offered by Etihad Rail will eventually lead to a more effective utilisation of the company’s assets in the UAE, the railway developer said in a media statement.

Etihad Rail was established in June 2009 under Federal Law no. 2, with a mandate to manage the development, construction and operation of the UAE’s national freight and passenger railway network.

Being built in three stages, the railway network will link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, and will form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network across the six countries of the GCC.

Construction on Stage One has been completed, with trains carrying granulated sulphur from the gas fields of Shah and Habshan to Ruwais already operational on a trial basis. Stage Two will connect the railway to Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali port and will see the railway extend to the Saudi and Omani borders.

Once ready, the Etihad Rail network will span approximately 1,200km across the UAE, providing both freight and passenger services. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across all emirates in the UAE. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghweifat in the west and Oman through Al Ain in the east.

The latest MoU with Ceva was signed by Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Etihad Rail, and Jerome Lorrain, Executive Vice President - Balkans, Africa, Middle East and Africa, Ceva Logistics.

“This agreement is the first step towards the establishment of a long and strategic partnership between our two companies,” said Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail. “We look forward to working closely with CEVA Logistics and play our role in the greater diversification of the UAE economy.”

Jerome Lorrain, EVP, Balkans, Africa, Middle East and Africa, CEVA Logistics said: “Etihad Rail will provide us with a much more reliable and environment friendly alternative to traditional modes of transport. Moreover, once the GCC rail connection is operational, it will significantly enhance the scope of our business.”

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