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Etihad Rail: Knowledge transfer for the UAE’s first railway network concludes ahead of schedule

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Since the establishment of the joint venture Etihad Rail DB in 2013, over 44 million tonnes of sulphur have been transported across 4,400 trains

Etihad Rail has concluded, ahead of schedule, the knowledge transfer programme with Deutsche Bahn (DB) – Europe’s largest railway operator and infrastructure owner. The partnership between the two organisations oversaw the establishment of the joint venture Etihad Rail DB in 2013, where the exchange of knowledge in railway operations, operations control centres (OCCs), maintenance of rolling stock, and development of the operating rules and regulations, was integral for subsequent operations.

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This took place during InnoTrans 2022 – the leading international trade fair for transport technology, which was held in Berlin, Germany from September 20-23 2022.

These areas of support and experience shared by Deutsche Bahn led to the achievement of critical milestones, enabling Etihad Rail to establish a vital national industry through the creation of the UAE’s first railway network.

Along with the knowledge transfer, Deutsche Bahn also provided Etihad Rail with guidance on the Health, Safety, Environment, & Quality (HSEQ) requirements and the development of the Operational Safety Case, which ultimately resulted in Etihad Rail DB’s accreditation as the UAE’s first heavy rail operator.

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Shadi Malak, Chief Executive Officer at Etihad Rail, said: “We conclude our knowledge transfer programme with our partner of almost a decade, Deutsche Bahn, ahead of schedule and in line with international best practices. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Deutsche Bahn, who shared valuable knowledge and expertise, aiding us in our goals to become one of the leading entities in the railway industry globally. We look forward to future opportunities, to work together again and achieve further successes.”

Niko Warbanoff, CEO DB E.C.O. Group, said: “We are proud of our successful and long-standing partnership with Etihad Rail. Together we have achieved the highest customer satisfaction with Adnoc, made a significant contribution to climate protection by saving a large amount of CO2 emissions, and kept our promise to provide a sustainable knowledge transfer to our partner Etihad Rail and the Emirati people.”

The joint venture Etihad Rail DB has been responsible for the operations of Stage One of the UAE National Rail Network since 2016.

Since operations for Stage One began, DB has supported Etihad Rail in transporting over 44 million tonnes of sulphur across 4,400 trains; it has also reduced over 370,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, and 2.68 million truck trips, supporting the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategic Initiative.

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Year-to-date, Etihad Rail DB has run 382 trains, and transported 3,685,000 tonnes of sulphur.

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