Etihad Rail ... the tracks of the network now extend to Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has announced that it has completed the tracklaying works of the main line in the northern emirates of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, as part of the last package of Stage Two of the project.

The network’s main line extends from Ghuweifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia, and passes through the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Moving full steam ahead, Etihad Rail will start laying tracks in Fujairah in the coming weeks, thus bringing it closer towards the completion of the UAE National Rail Network as per schedule.

The line in Sharjah extends over 45 km and is part of the last package of the project, which is 145 km in length. The work related to connecting the emirate to the main line saw more than 11.7 million work hours within 25 months.

Around 2,900 workers and engineers were part of the project, which involved the tracklaying works and running quality checks for the new line.

The line in Ras Al Khaimah, which extends over 5.7 km and connects the emirate to the main line, recorded more than 1.3 million work hours in 25 months involving 350 workers and engineers.

The last package of Stage Two, which runs for 145 km from Sharjah to Fujairah port, passing through Ras Al Khaimah, saw important developments. In May, Etihad Rail began tracklaying operations of the package.

This package has 54 bridges, 20 animal crossings as well as nine tunnels which extend over 6.9 km along Al Hajar Mountains and include the longest tunnel in the GCC for heavy cargo, at 1.8 km.