Dubai: Rail as a solution is looming large on the UAE's logistics horizon. A number of light rail projects — one in Abu Dhabi in addition to Dubai Metro — connecting to the UAE's national rail, is expected to change the transport and logistics landscape in the UAE.
The country's overall national network will accommodate heavy freight as well as other trade commodities, apart from hydrocarbons. Freight trains will operate at speeds of up to 120km/h, while passenger trains will reach up to 200km/h.
The project will be phased over a number of years with the first due for completion by 2014.
"Traditionally, rail transport is not the preferred choice for distances below 100km; however it becomes more attractive as the distance increases with an average journey of 500km or more," said an official with a logistics company. "While the UAE is building its, a Gulf-wide network will also slowly become reality and that would scale up the opportunities for logistics companies in the Gulf. It will help ease congestion on the highways and have a huge impact on the environment as well."