The developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, Etihad Rail, has reached a new milestone in the development of the National Rail Network.
The delivered locomotives and wagons are part of a planned project to expand the national fleet of heavy freight locomotives to 45 heavy transport locomotives, which corresponds to six times its current fleet. The new fleet will increase the capacity of the UAE National Rail Network to more than 60 million tonnes of freight per year. It is also expected that will contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70%-80%.
The fleet is designed to reflect the demanding climatic conditions in the GCC region. The trains are able to withstand high temperatures and humidity, ensuring the best levels of performance, efficiency, and sustainability. The locomotives are equipped with the latest filtering innovations such as the pulse sand filtering system, which ensures that the train operates with high effectiveness and efficiency when passing through desert regions.
“We made sure that the company’s new fleet is among the most modern in the region and the world, providing the highest safety criteria in terms of design, ensuring the best specifications for sustainability and environmental protection, and integrating the latest technologies for train operation and monitoring. We also ensured that the fleet suits the local geography and climate in the UAE and the region and meets current and future needs of Etihad Rail’s clients, including industrial companies, shipping companies, building materials suppliers, quarriers, and more,” said Mohammed Al Marzouqi, Executive Director of Rail Relations Sector at Etihad Rail.
The production and delivery of the new EMD® SD70 diesel locomotives with electric motors will be handled by Progress Rail. Each of the locomotives provides 4,600 BHP, which makes it one of the most powerful engines in the Middle East. This allows each of them to pull 100 wagons, which is equivalent to the capacity of 300 trucks. The volume of goods transported by these trains is equivalent to 5,600 daily truck trips.
“Our diesel-electric EMD® SD70 locomotives meet the highest global standards,” commented Marty Haycraft, Progress Rail President and Chief Executive Officer. “Etihad Rail's new fleet is a great example of what our customers have come to expect from our advanced locomotives, which are designed to perform in extreme conditions.”
The wagons are also equipped with the latest braking, signaling, control, communication, and safety systems. The variety of wagons will enable higher flexibility and capability in transporting goods of various sizes, including petrochemicals, raw steel, and its products, limestone, cement, building materials, industrial and household waste, aluminum, food, and assorted goods. This will help reduce transportation costs by 30% and increase logistic efficiency. Railway transport also will reduce road congestion caused by trucks, which are currently the only shipping method.