Officials at the ceremony to celebrate the completion of tunnel excavation work.

Etihad Rail said it has completed excavation work on all nine tunnels within the national rail network two months ahead of schedule and according to the highest standards of safety and sustainability.

These tunnels have been constructed across the northern emirates of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah as part of Package D of Stage Two of the UAE National Rail Network.

Etihad Rail said the completion of the tunnel excavation work recorded one million working hours. The project was supervised and carried out by more than 600 experts, specialists, and workers using the latest tunnelling machinery and modern technologies, said the company.

The firm took a series of precautionary measures such as using innovative machinery and equipment to limit the noise and vibrations caused by excavation deploying the explosive blasting methods and their impact on nearby communities.

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, lauded the efforts of Etihad Rail to carry out the tunnelling works without impacting nearby communities, while upholding the highest measures of safety, security, sustainability and environmental protection.

The Emirati company had recently announced the completion of the construction works for Package A of Stage Two of the rail network, which extends over 139 km and connects Ghuwaifat with Stage One of the project, which extends over 264 km from Habshan to Ruwais.

Etihad Rail Chairman Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan commended the efforts of  Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah and their support for the Etihad Rail project, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UAE and a primary contributor to the national economy.

Meanwhile, Etihad Rail last month announced the completion of 50 per cent of the construction works linked to a marine rail bridge in the UAE, as part of Package B of Stage Two of the project.

The marine rail bridge, which runs over 1 km long, will link the Khalifa Port to the UAE National Rail Network.

According to Etihad Rail, building the first marine bridge required 18,300 cu m of reinforced concrete and 4,117 tonnes of steel. The bridge will be parallel to an existing road bridge, which spans the same length, and connects the Abu Dhabi mainland to the offshore container terminal area.

The construction of the marine bridge is being implemented in line with the highest environmental standards, where Etihad Rail is working on maintaining the water flow through ensuring that the extensions and the rubble of the new marine bridge align with the existing bridge, parallel to it. This guarantees the flow of water, which is an important factor for preserving the coral reefs surrounding the bridge, it added.