United Arab Emirates is building state-of-the-art train network


Etihad Rail, the master developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, has awarded a contract to PCM Strescon Overseas Ventures Limited for the provision of railway sleepers.

The sleeper manufacturing facility will be set up in the western region of Abu Dhabi.

India-based PCM Strescon will be responsible for the design and manufacturing of railway sleepers in the UAE. It will also be responsible for the setting up of the sleeper-manufacturing facility for phase one of the railway network of the 266-kilometer route linking Shah, Habshan, and Ruwais in Abu Dhabi’s western region, an official statement from Etihad Rail announced on Saturday.

“We are delighted to announce that Etihad Rail will be working with PCM Strescon. This award clearly highlights that we are moving full speed ahead with the railway network — one that will transform the transport sector in the UAE. We look forward to announcing news of further important contract developments over the coming months,” Etihad Rail chief executive officer Richard Bowker said.

PCM Strescon is a leading manufacturer of pre-stressed concrete sleepers. It has already set up two factories in Saudi Arabia with the world’s highest production capacities, and has supplied more than 2.6 million sleepers to the North South Railway Project of Saudi Arabian Railways.

For Etihad Rail network, PCM Strescon will oversee and manage the design, manufacturing, maintenance, and storage of the railway sleepers that will support the network’s tracks that will carry the trains transporting granulated sulphur (in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) for export at the port of Ruwais.

“The award of this contract marks a major milestone for Etihad Rail and comes ahead of the laying of the first tracks for the 1,200-kilometer network in fourth quarter of 2012,” the statement said.

Etihad Rail’s Dh40 billion railway project is forecast, over the next two decades, to grow to transport up to 50 million tons of freight and 16 million passengers per annum, connecting population centers and opening up channels for trade. It will form a vital part of the GCC Railway Network.