Etihad Rail and Spain’s CAF have signed a Dh1.2 billion agreement for designing, manufacturing, supplying, and maintaining passenger trains for the rail project in UAE, it was announced on Thursday.
Each train will have a seating capacity of over 400 passengers, and will run at speeds of up to 200 kmph, a statement said.
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.
The passenger trains 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. Passenger services will allow travellers to plan their journeys between the emirates and cities of the UAE more efficiently, from booking their tickets until they reach their final destination.
They will reduce commute time by 30-40 per cent compared to other modes of transport. Travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, and from Dubai to Fujairah, will take only 50 minutes. A journey from Abu Dhabi to Al Ruwais will take 70 minutes, while travelling from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah will take 100 minutes.
Thursday’s agreement was signed in the Sakamkam area, where the first passenger train station will be built in the heart of Fujairah city, was signed by Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, and Josu Imaz, CEO Rolling Stock of CAF.
Through its partnership with CAF, a global leader in the railway industry, Etihad Rail will benefit from its 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.
In February, Etihad Rail signed an agreement with First Abu Dhabi Bank for financing the railway passenger transport services, with a total value of Dh1.99 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.