The Etihad railway is the United Arad Emirates national railway network established in 2009 under Federal Law No. 2 to manage the development, construction, and operation of the United Arab Emirate’s national freight and passenger railway network. Etihad railways aim to connect the UAE’s principal centres of industry and population and link them with other railways throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi (70%) and the Federal Government of the UAE (30%)
At present, the railway is in operation for 264 km transporting up to 22,000 tonnes of granulated sulphur each day. Its journey starts from Shah and Habshan, the sources of sulphur to Ruwais. They have announced their new project in which they will be extending the network by 605 km further connecting all the major centres of industry and population. After the completion of the new project, the railways will be laid down between Ghuwaifat to Fujairah. The freight rail will reach a speed of 120km/h and the passenger train will reach a speed of 200km/h. Stage one was completed by 2016 and has been in operation since then. Stage two is expected to be completed by 2024.
After the completion of the project, the Etihad railways will replace 5,600 on-road truck trips per day, resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gasses by 80%.
The trains will be capable of carrying consumer goods to perishable food and beverages. Some of the most common goods transported include hay, ceramics, polymers, sugar, metals, waste, and shipping containers. Passenger trains are also included where the population will be able to transport. In the future, more passenger trains will be included. It is expected to carry 16 million passengers and 50 million tonnes of freight.
In 2017 the Railways Diploma Programme was launched under the partnership of Etihad railways and Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (ADVETI). Students who will complete the 3-year course can join Etihad Rail DB in full-time careers. Various roles like train captain, traffic controller, locomotive and railway maintenance technician, and railway system technicians will be allotted to the students after their diploma program. In the year 2020 10 students completed their graduation and were placed in Etihad Railways and the first female Emirati train controller Maithaa Al Remeithi was appointed.