Etihad Rail DB appointed as Shadow Operator for stage two of UAE's National Rail Network

Saeed Salem AlSuwaidi: "The choice demonstrates our strong partnership with Etihad Rail and confidence in our local and international expertise"


Abu Dhabi, UAE: Etihad Rail DB, the joint venture company between Etihad Rail, the developer of the UAE’s national railway network and Deutsche Bahn (DB) is set to provide ‘Shadow Operator’ services for Stage Two of the Etihad Rail project. The choice builds on the five years of expertise and Etihad Rail DB’s outstanding success in managing Stage One operations and maintenance.

In its ‘Shadow Operator’ role, Etihad Rail DB will aim to utilise its expertise and lessons learned from Stage One to provide consultancy services to Etihad Rail in preparation for Stage Two. Such services will include reviewing the design of Stage Two assets, developing Emiratization requirements, drawing up operational procedures and safety management plans and assisting to ensure the project is delivered with the optimum operations cost.

Saeed Salem AlSuwaidi, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail DB said “After our successful five-year partnership on Stage One, we are proud to have been selected as ‘Shadow Operator’ for Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network. This demonstrates our strong partnership with Etihad Rail and confidence in our local and international expertise, as well as the high degrees of competence and responsibility of our national talent.”

AlSuwaidi added that the company combines local expertise with global best practice via its partnership with European rail operator Deutsche Bahn, which is in line with the vision of Etihad Rail DB to be the preferred choice in the rail sector in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Significant progress has been achieved so far in the UAE national rail network project. Currently, we are developing Stage Two in partnership with Etihad Rail DB, which has been selected as ‘Shadow Operator’. Our objective for the next stage is to retain the consistent progress that has been completed during Stage One and to achieve the project’s milestones within the agreed budget and timeline,” said Ahmed Al Hashemi, Director, Strategy & Marketing, at Etihad Rail.

“During the coming period, we will work on studying the optimal model for Stage Two operations, and qualify international specialized companies for this national project” Al Hashemi concluded.

Over the past few years, Etihad Rail and Etihad Rail DB have built a strong partnership in line with their commitment to global best practice, proving their ambitions to develop an advanced railway network in the UAE and the GCC region, to further strengthen the UAE's leading position as a global logistics hub.

Etihad Rail DB provides leading heavy freight transportation solutions to connect inland remote production sites and ports in the GCC and beyond.  It manages the operations and maintenance of Stage One of the Etihad Rail network, transporting granulated sulphur from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais. The 264km route facilitates the transportation of granulated sulphur from inland sources to the port of Ruwais for export. To date, more than 20 million tonnes of sulphur have been transported for the primary end customer of Stage One, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). 

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