Etihad Rail achieves major milestone in development of $13.6bn UAE Rail Network

Etihad Rail has said it has achieved a major construction milestone in the development of the country’s $13.6bn railways programme – the successful connection of Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port to the mainland, thanks to the construction of the emirate’s first rail marine bridge.

In a statement, Etihad Rail said the bridge is the first of its kind in the network, and is being constructed by 320 workers, with more than one million manhours of work clocked in so far. It added all the work is being carried out in compliance with the top environmental and global standards.

“The one-kilometre bridge, which runs parallel to the road link, will help improve the flow of goods to the region, and reduce shipping and trade costs,” said Khuloud Al Mazrouei, the Deputy Project Manager for Etihad Rail, while outlining the details of the latest project update in a video shared on social media.

In June 2022, Etihad Rail signed a $326.7mn deal for the supply and maintenance of passenger trains with CAF.

Al Mazrouei said the connection was completed with the installation of the last of the 100 T-beams. She added the team faced several challenges while building the bridge in a marine environment and managed to tackle them successfully.

She explained, “We have installed all the T-beams in the marine bridge, which will connect Khalifa Port with the network. This achievement was completed after installing the last T-beam for the bridge, which extends over one-kilometre, bringing the total number of T-beams to 100. The most important feature of this bridge is that it runs parallel to a road bridge of the same length, which connects the mainland of the emirate of Abu Dhabi with the sea container terminal. This ensures a smooth flow of tidal currents along the sides of the port and preserves the coral reefs.”

In May, Etihad Rail had announced that 75% of the work on the network had been completed. Construction of the project had been divided into two stages, the second of which includes four packages. The bridge is being built as part of the Package B of the second stage. Etihad Rail’s network will run for 1,200 km across the UAE, from the border of Saudi Arabia to Fujairah.

In April, Etihad Rail unveiled a new freight terminal that will take shape at Dubai Industrial City.

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