ETIHAD Rail has completed the connection between the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), the site of the largest inland rail freight terminal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the national railway network.

The line was built as part of Phase 2 of the UAE national network. Phase 1 runs for 264km, and is used to move granulated sulphur from Shah and Habshan for export via the port of Ruwais. Phase 2 will connect the UAE and Saudi Arabia, running from Fujairah Port to the border at Ghuweifat via Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port, and will be 1200km long when complete.

China Railway Construction and Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting won a Dirhams 4.4bn ($US 1.2bn) contract in June 2019 for Stage 2B, comprising the 216km route from Liwa, near Tarif, to Saih Shuaib, which includes connections to Khalifa Industrial Zone, Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Port and ICAD, and the 94km Sharjah - Jebel Ali Stage 2C, comprising 74km in Dubai and a 20km branch to Jebel Ali Port.

Etihad Rail is constructing a more than 250,000m2 inland rail freight terminal at ICAD, which will comprise more than 22 buildings and major structures to support operations, processing up to nine trains each day. The hub will facilitate distribution of freight across the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and UAE, connecting quarries in the northern emirates to industrial centres in the Musaffah area, in addition to connecting Ruwais, Khalifa Port and container terminals in Dubai within Jebel Ali Port.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week when fully operational, the new terminal will process more than 15 million tonnes of bulk raw materials, 1.5 million tonnes of general freight, and around 116,600 20ft containers annually.

“Connecting the rail freight terminal at ICAD with Etihad Rail’s main line ensures our readiness to start providing our clients with logistics solutions by linking Abu Dhabi with various industrial centres and import and export points,” says executive director of the rail relations sector at Etihad Rail, Mr Mohammed Al Marzouqi. “This milestone brings us closer to achieving our goal of providing an integrated transport system that connects the industrial and manufacturing centres with freight terminals and ports across the emirates. The strategic location of the ICAD rail freight terminal will also drive value for all our customers as it is the largest inland rail freight terminal in the UAE.”

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