Etihad Rail new locomotive fleet offloading

UAE: Etihad Rail has begun taking delivery of 38 locomotives and 842 wagons as part of plans to provide a freight capacity of more than 60 million tonnes per year on the future national railway network.

The 38 EMD SD70 diesel-electric locomotives are being supplied by Progress Rail under a contract announced in February 2020. They follow on from the seven 4 500 hp EMD SD70ACS locomotives delivered in 2013 for the opening of the 264 km first phase of the rail network.

Etihad said the 4 600 hp locos would be among the most powerful in the Middle East with the ability to haul 100 wagons, equivalent to 300 lorries. They are fitted with ETCS and designed for local conditions including high temperatures, humidity and dust, with the air intakes being equipped with sand filtration.

Etihad Rail new wagons fleet offloading

The 842 wagons being supplied by CRRC Yangtze under a contract signed in August 2020 will triple the fleet to more than 1 000 wagons. They are tailor-made for local conditions and meet Gulf Co-operation Council requirements for the braking and safety systems.

They will be used for traffic including petrochemicals, steel, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and household waste, aluminium and food. Etihad Rail said the use of rail would cut transport costs by 30% compared to road, while also reducing highway congestion.

The locomotives and wagons are being delivered through the Zayed and Al Musaffah ports in Abu Dhabi and will be to be stored in Al Mirfa until the completion of construction works on the 605 km Stage Two from Fujairah Port on the east coast to Mussafah, Khalifa Port, Jebel Ali Port and Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia, which is now 75% complete.

Etihad Rail welcomes first batches of new fleet 2

‘The network will contribute to revitalising and bolstering economic growth in the UAE, particularly during the next 50 years, by providing reliable and safe freight services with high efficiency. The network will also contribute to the region’s economic growth upon its connection with the Gulf Co-operation Council network, which will consolidate the UAE’s position as a regional and global centre for shipping and logistics services’, said Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of Rail Relations Sector at Etihad Rail, on August 18.

‘We made sure that the company’s new fleet is among the most modern in the region and the world, providing the highest safety criteria in terms of design, ensuring the best specifications for sustainability and environmental protection, and integrating the latest technologies for train operation and monitoring.

‘We also ensured that the fleet suits the local geography and climate in the UAE and the region and meets current and future needs of Etihad Rail’s clients.’