UAE officials have confirmed that the first phase of the Etihad Rail Network will be operational in the “near future”. This includes the 266 km lines between Shah and Habshan sulphur fields and the port of Ruwais.
Construction is complete on the lines and testing has been underway for some months. Meanwhile a new Federal law to regulate the UAE’s railway sector is passing through the Ministerial Council for Services.
The UAE will be the second country in the GCC region to have a fully operational heavy rail network, and this will be the first railway network in the UAE to link all the Emirates.
The next phase of the network will be between the Saudi border, via Dubai, to Al Ain on the Omani border as part of the Emirates’ commitment to the construction of the GCC Railway Network.
This 2177 km network will link Kuwait’s Iraqi border via Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Qatar and the Yemeni border of Oman. It is expected to be completed sometime in 2018 when all the individual countries networks are completed.