In pictures: The passenger train that will link all seven emirates of the UAE
Next stop, inter-emirate travel…
For those with a heart that beats to the call of wanderlust, there’s something particularly romantic about the idea of rail travel, especially when it passes through the sort of big geography you find in the UAE.
That feeling of crossing frontiers, powering towards the horizon with otherworldly plains flooding past the window. And it could be something we get to experience here sooner than you think, following a new update issued by the UAE Rail Programme.
Yes, according to the latest projections, the UAE’s very own ‘Sanpiercer’ (not the official name) will be hosting passengers by the year 2030…
From the beautiful renders above supplied by Etihad Rail, we can see that the sleek cone-nosed train cuts a very similar image to those of the other high speed networks across the world. It looks like there will be at least two classes of cabin to choo-choose from, spacious bathrooms, comfortable seats, and a kitchen area. There is literally no information in support of whether there are private suites aboard, but we dare to dream.
In lieu of getting the low down from train wisdom GOAT, Francis Bourgois — we reached out directly to Etihad Rail for some more stats and facts about the train. Expect those to arrive on the What’s On platform imminently.
Etihad Rail is a Dhs50 billion ‘Projects of the 50’ endeavor launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
Talking about the project at a special ‘Projects of the 50’ event held at Expo2020 last December Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Rail, said ” the Rail Passenger Services will enhance the transportation system across the UAE allowing passengers to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes.”
The Rail Passenger Services will be the second part of the project (after freight) and is expected to carry more than 36.5 million passengers annually, by 2030.
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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “The Etihad Rail is the largest project to consolidate the strength of the union for the next fifty years. It will connect 11 key cities and regions across the UAE.”
“The project comes in line with the environmental policy of the UAE and it will reduce carbon emissions by 70-80 per cent”, he added.
The third part of the project will be a network of ‘light rail’ within the UAE’s cities (like Dubai’s Metro and Tram). Expect samert systems to be full integrated here, allowing for seamless passenger ride and booking experiences.
Some important numbers
Taking a look at some more key numbers behind the project — by 2030, the Railways Programme will provide more than 9,000 jobs and create ‘economic opportunities’ to the value of around Dhs200 billion; the estimated benefits of reducing carbon emissions amount to 21 billion and road maintenance savings of Dhs8 billion have been forecast; then of course there’s the extra tourism business valued at a conservative Dhs23 billion over the next 50 years; and the public spending benefits on the UAE economy will reach Dhs23 billion.
All in all this programme is shaping up to be a pretty nifty thrfty carbon-shifty project of the 50.
Images: Etihad Rail