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With work progressing on Stage 2 of the planned 1 200 km national rail network, project promoter Etihad Rail has completed the first section of trackwork for its new line connecting the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Tracklaying on the 216 route-km Package B connecting Stage One at Liwa near Tarif to the edge of Dubai is being undertaken in both directions from a construction base at Saih Shuaib, where the contractors have established a concrete sleeper factory.
Visiting the railhead on June 29, Etihad Rail Chairman HH Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed was taken for a 10 km trip on an inspection train as far as Al Maha Forest, were he was briefed on work to protect the natural habitat and wildlife.
The trackwork for both Package B and the adjacent 94 km Package C is included in the design and build contracts for the civil works, which have a combined value of 4·4bn dirhams. Both contracts were awarded in June 2019 to a grouping of China Railway Construction Corp with local firm Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting Co.
Tracklaying on the 139 km Package A of Stage Two, covering the double-track route running west from Ruwais to Ghuweifat on the border with Saudi Arabia, had been launched at Ruwais in January by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region. Package A is being delivered under a design and build contract awarded a consortium of China State Construction Engineering Corp and South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction.
During his visit, Sheikh Theyab reiterated that the development of Stage Two would bolster the UAE’s regional and international positioning. Recognising the ‘invaluable’ support of local and federal government stakeholders, he said the rail network would form ‘a key part of the UAE’s world-class integrated transport ecosystem’, supporting economic growth by connecting key ports with production and manufacturing sites. It would also ‘positively affect the lives of citizens and residents in the country’.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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