UAE: Etihad Rail has signed memoranda of understanding with SNCF International, Alstom, Progress Rail and Thales at InnoTrans, aiming to support economic development by driving the growth of the rail industry in the UAE and the region.

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Etihad Rail and SNCF International are to explore opportunities in operations; train maintenance; training; the design, development and operation of projects in the UAE; rolling stock supply and maintenance; integration between various modes of transport; and station services and facilities.

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The MoU between Etihad Rail and Alstom covers railway innovations from incubation to commercialisation, including sustainability; integration between modes of transport; railway performance; and system life-cycle performance. Etihad Rail and Alstom will also work collaboratively on a first and last-mile strategy; digitalisation of mobility including MaaS system implementation, logical systems/IT architecture, cybersecurity; testing and commissioning, operation and maintenance; rolling stock configuration and facilities; the development of a learning ecosystem; and local industrialisation.

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The MoU with Thales covers new generation rail control; ETCS Level 3; driver advisory systems; intelligent traffic operation; asset management; real-time passenger flow; data driven operation control centre; video analytics; connectivity and passenger entertainment system; booking and ticketing system, and mobility and integration solutions between various modes of transport.

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The MoU with Progress Rail covers potential opportunities for the development and deployment of an autonomous, zero-emissions port-to-port concept, which could serve as the foundation for future rail operations globally.

Ahmed Al Musawa, Executive Director of Passenger Sector at Etihad Rail, said ’through partnering with some of the biggest names in the rail, cargo and transportation industry, we assure our clients that we are developing the UAE national rail network as per the highest international standards, to meet their requirements and support them in meeting their business objectives, driving a sustainable, resilient and cost-effective supply chain.’