Etihad Rail’s state-of-the-art network will not only connect key centres of industry and population within the UAE, but will also form a vital part of the GCC-wide rail network, linking to Saudi Arabia in the west and Oman in the east. The MoU, signed by Etihad Rail CEO H.E. Dr. Nasser Al Mansoori and Bertschi Global AG Manager Business Unit Global, Michael Baechler, will enable the leading logistics company to use the rail network for efficient and safe crossborder transport of equipment and products such as hazardous and non-hazardous bulk liquid and dry chemicals. This will comprise trips between the UAE and other GCC countries, with a strong focus on Saudi Arabia.
With an established reputation in its field, family-owned Bertschi operates 54 subsidiaries across Europe, Russia, Turkey, the Middle East, China, South-east Asia, and the US. The company is a key player in its field, generating an annual turnover of €510 million, and owns more than 19,000 tank and dry bulk containers, 1,200 trucks and 16 container terminals.
Construction contracts for Stage Two of the Etihad Rail project, which will connect the railway to Mussafah, the Gulf ports of Khalifa and Jebel Ali, and the Saudi and Omani borders, will be awarded by year-end. During this period, Etihad Rail will also launch the Habshan-Ruwais route as part of Stage One, which will mark the very first train journey in the UAE. Meanwhile, preliminary engineering for Stage Three, which will connect the rest of the Northern Emirates, is well underway.
Upon completion, the Etihad Rail network, which will cater to both freight and passengers, will span approximately 1,200 kilometres across the Emirates. It will connect urban and peripheral communities, facilitate trade, open up communication channels and foster economic development across all Emirates in the UAE. The network will also form a vital part of the GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east.