New lines on Etihad Rail Network?
Future lines connect Etihad Rail to Khor Fakkan, Sharjah, and other coastal towns
Etihad Rail Network will span more than 1,100km across the UAE once it is complete, not only connecting to neighbouring countries but also linking the emirates within the UAE.
Exactly where in the UAE the rail network will reach has been shown on various maps published by Etihad Rail.
Recently, future lines have appeared on these maps, indicating that a few more places will become accessible by train.
In the final stage of the project, the network will be extended to Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah. The railway will head in the direction of Al Dhaid from Dubai, where it becomes two lines; one in the direction of Ras Al Khaimah and another to Fujairah.
Along these lines several diversions have been sketched, dubbed ‘future lines’.
From Fujairah, an extension has been drawn to Khor Fakkan. Technically a part of Sharjah, this eastern town is surrounded by Fujairah, making it an interesting destination for daytrip tourists to the emirate.
On the west coast, two diversions have been drawn. Just before the railway curves towards Al Dhaid, a future line leads into the emirate of Sharjah. The exact location of this line is not clear, but as it is the only line heading into the city of Sharjah, it could well be a passenger line.
A little further along a second diversion is drawn to reach Hamriya, a part of Sharjah lying north of Umm al Quwain. It is not clear whether this line will serve the coastal town and marine destination of Hamriyah, or the Hamriyah Port and Free Zone.
From the diversion to Hamriyah another line parts off to Jazirat al Hamra, a historical site en route to Ras al Khaimah.
At the time of writing this article, no confirmation from Etihad Rail was received regarding these future lines.
In a latest announcement, the authority confirmed that it had started commercial operations on the railway network Habshan – Shah – Mirfa – Ruwais, or stage 1 of the project.
Although freight transportation services had been run on this route for a while, these were test runs as the permission to operate had to be granted by the Federal Transport Authority (FTA).
Stage Two involves the completion of the rail network in the Abu Dhabi emirate by connecting to the Saudi border at Ghweifat and the Omani border at Al Ain, and by connecting vital areas such as Mussaffah, Khalifa Port and Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.
Preliminary design and engineering for Stage Two have been completed and the tender process for six construction packages is in the final stages of evaluation.