The project connects 4 major ports and 7 logistics areas across the country, transporting 60 million tons of goods annually
The UAE vice president, sheikh and other leaders boarded a sleek Etihad passenger train as the country announced the launch of its national rail network.
On Thursday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted a series of photos, including one showing him inside a train. A video showed him boarding a passenger train at the main control and maintenance center in Al Fayah, Abu Dhabi. He was seen inside the train being briefed on the project.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “The UAE successfully launched its national rail network today. It connects the country’s four main ports and seven logistics areas, transporting 60 million tons of cargo annually. Our train network boosts our economy.”
Sheikh Mohamed called the network a national strategic project, saying it would have an economic impact of AED200 billion by 2050. “This was done with the cooperation of 180 federal and local authorities who worked 133 million working hours.”
Etihad Rail is the developer and operator of the UAE’s national rail network.
The first passenger train prototype rolled in during last year’s epic National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi, with spectators – including the UAE president, vice president and His Highness the Ruler of the Emirates – waving and cheering.
Etihad Rail’s passenger service will connect 11 cities in the UAE. With a top speed of 200 km/h, passengers can travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes. These trains are expected to reduce commuting times by as much as 40%. While no exact launch date has been set, annual passenger numbers are expected to exceed 36.5 million by 2030.