Construction work in progress on the O&M facility in Al Faya.

Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of UAE’s national railway network, has announced that construction work at its operations and maintenance (O&M) unit in Al Faya, Abu Dhabi, is now 25 per cent complete.

The facility is the largest and the most significant on the network and will be responsible for warehousing, installations, operations, and the maintenance of locomotives and wagons. It will also include an administrative building to control the operations of the whole network, said senior Etihad Rail officials.

Among other developments, Etihad Rail has signed an agreement with Stevin Rock, one of the world’s largest quarrying companies based in Ras Al Khaimah, for the transport of raw materials from the northern emirate to Abu Dhabi.

This is a first in a series of commercial agreements for Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network, which sees major organisations based in the UAE connected throughout the emirates, via Etihad Rail’s highly anticipated national railway network, said Etihad Rail.

Stage Two stretches over 605 km from Al Ghuwaifat on the UAE’s border with Saudi Arabia in the west to the port of Fujairah on the eastern coast.

 As per the deal, an estimated 3.5 million tonnes of construction material will be carried annually from Stevin Rock’s Al Ghail quarry in Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi, through 500 annual train trips.