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Wed 8 Jul 2009 05:11 PM

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UAE gov't approves new $272m rail company

Federal law wins approval to form the Etihad Trains Company, 100% state-owned.

UAE gov't approves new $272m rail company
RAIL BACKING: The UAE government on Wednesday passed a federal law to set up a new railway company. (Getty Images)

The UAE government approved a federal law on Wednesday to set up a AED1bn ($272m) railway company, state news agency WAM reported.

The Etihad Trains Company, which would be 100 percent owned by the government, would transport goods and passengers and would invest in a countrywide rail network, that would link the emirates.

Run by at least seven board members, the new company would specialise in leasing, owning and selling trains.

“According to the decree, the "Etihad Trains Company" shall, among other objectives, strive to link the rural areas with the urban areas of the country to accelerate growth and development in the country and facilitate easy, cheap and safe means of transport of passengers and goods, to minimise environmental pollution stemming from carbon combustion from cars on the roads and highways,” WAM reported.

Richard Bowker, the outgoing boss of UK rail and bus group National Express who steps down from the post on July 10 is expected to act as chief executive of Etihad Trains.

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carol wagner 11 years ago

this is an excellent move on behalf of the government but one thing that would worry me is keping the train track clear of sand. Look how the roads get when it is windy!

Mansoor 11 years ago

Its a bold and excellent move ...but wonder when r they planning to start and also with the initial stages should have a rough start and a completion date.We really need to get rid to our cars and use the pulic transport .

Serge 11 years ago

Fantastic! At last a really viable project, especially if it fits into the freight movement market. It will lead to a quantum growth especially if coordinated with the neighbouring states and allows all the Gulf and Red Sea ports to become part of the network At last some really strategic thinking!!. The reduction of large container trucks on the road will be enormous.

Faisal Azhar 11 years ago

I think its a very good move by UAE Govt. Most importantly it will relif Haavy Transport Congestion of the roads of UAE. Since majority of goods are transported into UAE, I think frieght railway should be the next project for etihad rail company. With frieght terminals at several borader points and major cities, goods should only be brought in by Rail. i.e. trailers can be loaded on to trains at the boarder and then off loaded at major cities. Also high speed regional rail links for people travelling between all emirates with good parking facilities and connections to buses, metro and taxis.

Barrie Harmsworth 11 years ago

Brilliant, brillant, at long last a project that has the resemblance of being sustainable. Only one gripe, what took so long?