Etihad Rail has said it hopes to start commercial services "shortly" on Stage One of the network. The line's operator, ERDB, has transported two million tonnes of sulphur over the past 12 months during trial services on the 264-kilometre route, which was completed last year. Upon being granted regulatory approval, the volume of sulphur will significantly increase. Trial services have been operating for the past year from plants in Shah and Habshan in the Western region of Abu Dhabi to Ruwais Port. Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, chief executive of Etihad Rail, said: “Our success to date would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our customer and partner, ADNOC. “Going forward, we will continue to build on this success as we move towards our target of transporting more than seven million tonnes of sulphur every year once we enter into full commercial operations.” The 1,200-kilometre Etihad Rail network, which is at the centre of the GCC Railway Network, is being delivered in three phases.
The facility will become TMH's only production site in Africa. It will be used to assemble, maintain and refurbish diesel and electric locomotives as well as coaches for South Africa and the rest of the continent.