Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's national rail network, has awarded a AED1.2 billion ($327 million) contract to Spanish group CAF for delivery of passenger trains for its new rail network.
Under the terms of the agreement, CAF will design, manufacture, supply, and provide maintenance for passenger trains as per the European standards.
Each train will have a seating capacity of over 400 passengers, and will run up to 200 km/h. The trains, which will offer a variety of seating segments, will serve as a major addition to the public transport system in the UAE.
The agreement, which emerged as a result of Etihad Rail’s success at the Middle East Rail 2022, was signed by Etihad Rail CEO Shadi Malak and CAF Rolling Stock CEO Josu Imaz in the presence of Iñigo de Palacio, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE, and officials from both sides.
The deal was inked during the visit of Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of Etihad Rail, to Sakamkam area, where the first passenger train station will be built in the heart of Fujairah city.
He was reviewing the progress of rail construction works within Stage Two work of the UAE National Rail Network, which extends for 145 kilometres from Sharjah to Fujairah Port and Ras Al Khaimah.
Lauding the agreement, Sheikh Theyab said it serves as a major step forward in the development of the UAE’s passenger transport services, in line with company’s commitment to completing the national and strategic project on schedule, and according to the best criteria and practices.
Through its partnership with CAF, a global leader in the railway industry, Etihad Rail will benefit from the Spanish group’s long-standing experience for more than 100 years, in providing advanced solutions for improving the rail commuter’s experience and providing passengers with high levels of safety, efficiency and quality.
"Today, Etihad Rail is continuing its commitment to achieving more successes, building upon the foundations established by the UAE’s wise leadership for developing the transport system and achieving economic prosperity, through the development of the UAE National Rail Network. Etihad Rail is enhancing its contribution to the UAE’s development, through shaping the rail industry and setting business models and client behaviours," he stated.
"The company has made consecutive achievements, which reflect the project’s role in shaping the future of the transport sector, in line with the UAE’s journey of excellence," he added.
During the visit, Sheikh Theyab also inspected key landmarks on the project’s route in the final package of Stage Two of the network; starting with the rail bridge in Al Suyoh area in Sharjah, followed by a stop in Al Bithnah area in Fujairah to visit Al Bithnah bridge as well as visit to a number of tunnels where he witnessed tracklaying works across the tunnels in Al Hajar Mountains in Fujairah.
The passenger train will connect 11 cities and regions in the UAE from Al Sila to Fujairah, including Al Ruwais, Al Mirfa, Dubai, Sharjah, Al Dhaid, and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Rail had recently signed three MoUs with Spain’s national railway operator Renfe, and the British companies High Speed 1 and GB Railfreight, to enhance cooperation and the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and the best practices in in freight and passenger rail services and rail operations.
This took place during Middle East Rail 2022, which was hosted by the Etihad rail in May.
In February, Etihad Rail signed an agreement with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) for financing the railway passenger transport services, with a total value of AED 1.99 billion as part of the UAE National Railways Programme. First Abu Dhabi Bank will be the Certified Lead Arranger for the loan, as part of the agreement.-TradeArabia News Service