UAE plans to restart $25bn Etihad rail scheme after two-year time out

The UAE has announced plans to begin the second phase of the $25bn Etihad rail scheme, which has been stalled since January 2016.

Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Nuaimi, the minister for infrastructure in the federal government, told a press conference in Dubai last week that tenders would soon be issued for project managers to oversee the work.

The government said consultants would be hired to update the design of the railway and open issue tenders to start construction "in the coming months".

The first complete phase of the UAE’s 1,200km network is a freight line to the Shah gas field (GCR)

The 1,200km Etihad Rail project is being built in three phases. The first, which is complete, linked the Shah gas field with the port and refinery of Ruwais. The second and largest phase will connect the railway to Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, Jebel Ali Port in Dubai, and to the Saudi and Omani borders, a distance of about 650km. The final stage will be a 279km extension to the northern emirates Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.

According the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Etihad rail system will eventually be part of an integrated 2,117km rail system between Oman and Kuwait.

Top image: Phase one of the Etihad mainly carried granulated sulphur (Aecom)

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