ABU DHABI - Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has completed excavating the longest tunnel in the Gulf Region, running for 1.8 kilometres.
The tunnel is part of Package D of Stage Two, which runs for 145 kilometres from Dubai and Sharjah, through the Al Hajar Mountains, toward the emirate of Fujairah.
The package includes the construction of nine tunnels through the mountains at a cumulative length of 6.9 kilometres, and additionally includes 54 bridges and 20 animal crossings.
The achievement is a significant step in the project’s development. The route passes through some of the most complex topographical areas in the construction of the network. In total, the completion of the tunnel contributes to ensuring development continues on an accelerated schedule.
All tunnel excavation operations were implemented in line with international best safety practices. Teams ensured that all construction was carried out safely, given the mountainous terrain surrounding the site. The tunnel's excavation required 300,000 working hours to complete, with over half a million tonnes of stone removed.
The UAE National Rail Network is being constructed on schedule. Track laying recently commenced at Saih Shuaib, the rail head for track running toward Abu Dhabi and Dubai as part of Stage Two. The overall track on Stage Two will run from Ghuweifat on the border of Saudi Arabia to the emirate of Fujairah on the UAE’s eastern seaboard. At the beginning of 2021, track laying began in the Al Dhafra region toward the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia.
WAM/Amjad Saleh/MOHD AAMIR
© WAM (Emirates News Agency) 2021