Etihad Rail has signed a 1.2 billion Dirham (USD327 million) agreement to design, manufacture, supply and maintain the highly anticipated passenger trains for the UAE.
The agreement between Etihad Rail and Spain’s CAF company was signed at Sakamkam in the heart of Fujairah city area, where the first passenger train station will be built.
Under the terms of the agreement each train will have a seating capacity of over 400 passengers and top speed of 200kmph. The train would offer a variety of seating segments. The seating segments would include first, business, and economy classes.
The trains will enable transport across the cities of the UAE, providing travellers with quick, safe, efficient, comfortable and cost-efficient travel experience.
The train ride would see passengers chugging through the desert, cities, over bridges and tunnels that penetrate through the Al Hajar mountains.
Commute time to be slashed by up to 40 percent
The passenger train will connect 11 cities and regions in the UAE from Al Sila to Fujairah, including Al Ruwais, Dubai, Sharjah, Al Mirfa, Al Dhaid and Abu Dhabi. From booking their tickets until they reach their final destination the passenger services will allow travellers to plan their journeys more efficiently between the cities of the UAE.
This will reduce commute time by up to 40 per cent compared to other modes of transport. The commute time from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and from Dubai to Fujairah, will be 50 minutes only. Commutes from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah will take 100, while travelling from Abu Dhabi to Al Ruwais will take 70 minutes only.
By 2030, the number of commuters on Etihad Rail is expected to reach more than 36.5 million annually.
In February 2022, Etihad Rail had signed an agreement with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) for financing the passenger transport services with a total value of 1.99 billion Dirhams (USD542 million).
The passenger trains will be equipped with the latest cutting-edge technologies that suit the topography and climate of the UAE, which is key for ensuring efficiency, high performance, and reliability. The trains will provide various amenities, entertainment, and comfortable seating at high levels of efficiency, quality and security, allowing passengers to enjoy exceptional journeys.
The trains will be well-equipped with modern amenities, including charging stations, infotainment systems along with food, beverages and ample legroom space. The trains would also have an advanced air conditioning system.
The Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the agreement is in line with the company’s commitment to completing the strategic and national project on schedule.
Etihad signs MoUs with European companies
Etihad rail signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with European companies namely, with Renfe, Spain’s national railway operator; High speed 1, the first high-speed railway in United Kingdom (UK); and GB Rail freight, the British rail freight company.
The MoUs are built on exchanging knowledge, expertise, and best practices in freight and passenger rail services and operations. This hails as part of Etihad Rail’s efforts to develop the railway services as part of the UAE National Railways Programme.