Photo Courtesy of Parsons

Rail service in the United Arab Emirates has been limited, but a new era began in Abu Dhabi with stage one of the new Etihad Rail Network, which was completed in April. The first of three stages created a 266-kilometer link between the Shah and Habshan oil-and-gas fields and the Port of Ruwais.

As the first railway in the U.A.E., a rail-regulatory process was developed in parallel with the development of the first stage. To maintain a steady supply chain, Etihad Rail Network agreed to construct a railroad-tie factory for the project, rather than rely on production facilities in India or Australia. The U.A.E.-based facility produced approximately 700,000 railroad ties for the project.

The team conducted meteorological studies to analyze areas at risk for sand accumulation. The team also used aerodynamics, coupled with sand- behavior modeling in a wind tunnel.
Safety training for the hostile work environment succeeded in limiting lost-time injuries to three with 33.8 million work-hours.

Project Team

Owner: Etihad Rail Co. PJSC

Contractor: Saipem Dodsall Technimont joint venture

Lead Design Firm: Marie Technimont

Program Manager: Parsons–AECOM joint venture