Etihad Rail
Etihad Rail is gathering momentum with the second stage of its development. The contract with the Ras Al Khaimah quarry is part of this phase. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s rail project gathers more steam with Etihad Rail set to transport raw materials from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi. An estimated 3.5 million tonnes of construction material will be carried annually from the Al Ghail quarry in Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi through 500 annual train trips.

This, in turn, will cut out as many as 100,000 truck trips each year, and representing a significant easing on the road networks as well as the environment.

“By connecting with quarries in the Northern Emirates, Etihad Rail will ensure faster and more cost-effective delivery of construction materials, which in turn, we continue to deliver on our commitment to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions by decreasing truck movement on the roads,” said Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail.

What's the UAE rail network?
The project will stretch over 605 kilometres - from Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia in the west to the port of Fujairah on the eastern coast.

Connect the quarries

Future shipments will be routed from the Al Ghail facility, which is part of the freight hubs Etihad Rail is developing. The aim is to provide transportation services from the quarries of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to the rest of the UAE.

The facility at Al Ghail will connect quarries in Al Siji, Masafi, and Al Taween, thus "enhancing transport of gabbro rock from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi and Dubai [and] reducing hundreds of conventional road-based truck trips".

The new deal was signed with Stevin Rock, one of the largest quarrying companies in the world and which has been operating in Ras Al Khaimah since 1978. Each train - measuring one kilometre in length - will haul 70 wagons that will have a carrying capacity of 7,000 tonnes per journey.

“Stevin Rock is one of the largest companies in the global quarrying sector," said Malak. "As a primary company that has signed an agreement with us, they will benefit from the integrated transport solutions Stage Two of the project provides upon completion.

"Stevin Rock will be one of the first to witness the benefits associated with the interconnectivity that Etihad Rail will establish within the Emirates, transporting their products from Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi’s logistics hub, the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi (ICAD), in addition to the benefits corresponding with the future planned wider GCC network.”

Etihad Rail that will provide a sustainable alternative to road transport, contributing significantly to Stevin Rock’s continuous efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. Moreover, rail transport will allow us to be more competitive on pricing our products in Abu Dhabi

- Naser Bustami, General Manager of Stevin Rock