- Hitachi Rail STS secures AED 1.6bn Etihad Rail Stage 2 package
- New freight line will connect port of Fujairah, UAE, with Saudi border
- Mobility firm will install modern signalling system over 3.5 years
Etihad Rail has appointed Hitachi Rail STS to install a modern signalling system and related equipment on the new 605km freight line connecting Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates to the border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The global technology firm will design, build and integrate the signalling system for the extensive freight line in a contract worth AED 1.6bn (around €400m). The project is due to take around three and a half years to complete and will see a modern signalling system (ETCS level 2) installed on the new line, as well as telecoms and power supply systems. The 800 km long 11 kV power system that Hitachi Rail STS will supply is set to be the longest distribution network in the country.
The ETCS (European Train Control System) technology allows trains to connect with equipment along the length of track wirelessly. Drivers get real time information about how to drive the train – whether to accelerate and if it safe to proceed – and it removes the need for traditional traffic light signals alongside the track.
The network will be equipped with a communications system and modern control centre with its main operations in Faya and another in Mirfa to support and provide maximum safety and efficiency around the clock. The centre can pinpoint the location of a train at any time, and has the ability to control the speed limit and even stop the train when necessary.
The Etihad Rail 2 project is expected to increase the volume of freight moved within the UAE from seven million tonnes a year to more than 50 million. This is the second project Hitachi Rail STS will deliver in the UAE. Etihad Rail Stage 1, which opened in January 2016, saw the company design and build the signalling technology to equip a 264km freight line that connects Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais. When Etihad 1 and 2 are both connected and operational they will create a railway network linking the UAE’s principal centres of industry, population and ports, forming an integral part of the network that spans the Arabian Gulf.
The development of UAE’s railway is one of the most important economic project’s the Gulf nation is undertaking. It is creating a safe, modern and cost effective means of transport and connecting ports, manufacturing and production points, as well as urban locations.
The contract was signed in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, Chairman of Etihad Rail , and H.E. Akihiko Nakajima, the Ambassador of Japan to the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “The national railway network will operate according to the latest technologies adopted for operating systems and to the highest international standards, to connect the emirates of the UAE. Etihad Rail contributes to economic and social development by linking strategic ports, manufacturing and production points and population centers, enhancing the transport sector in the country and leading to a qualitative shift in freight movement and the logistics sector.
Christian Andi, Hitachi Rail STS Business Unit President EMEA said:
“We are proud and honoured to be entrusted by Etihad Rail for this cutting-edge railway project and to contribute to the development of UAE fully diversified and sustainable economy. Having successfully delivered Etihad Rail stage 1, we’re delighted to be integrating a railway that will span 1,200km when it’s completed”.