Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has signed a joint venture with DB Schenker Rail, a subsidiary of German-based Deutsche Bahn, to operate and maintain the railway.
DB is Europe’s largest railway company, operating passenger and freight services on the approximately 33,500-kilometre German rail network, and maintaining a strong presence in rail operations in various countries across Europe.
The joint venture, Etihad Rail DB, which will be led by its chairman Mattar Al Tayer, will initially provide railway operations and maintenance expertise for Stage One, setting the foundation to also act as consultant for the operations of the future stages of the Etihad Rail network.
Nasser Alsowaidi, chairman, Etihad Rail, commented: “Deutsche Bahn and DB Schenker Rail are the ideal partners to help spearhead a successful, modern railway for the UAE for generations to come.
“Facilitating knowledge transfer and sharing of best practices, the joint venture – Etihad Rail DB – is a very positive step forward for Etihad Rail, furthering our commitment to provide the UAE with a world-class, modern, integrated and efficient rail network that will drive economic growth and social development.”
Etihad Rail DB will manage operations for Stage One of the Etihad Rail network, transporting granulated sulphur from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais.
The 264 km route will facilitate the transport of granulated sulphur from inland sources to the port of Ruwais for export.
Rüdiger Grube, chairman of the management board and chief executive of Deutsche Bahn, said: “The Etihad Rail network heralds a new era in transport – one that DB Schenker Rail is proud to be a part of – and we are confident in the vital role it will play in strengthening the UAE’s strategic position.
“Our experts of DB Schenker Rail and DB International are very much looking forward to working with Etihad Rail.”