Etihad Rail has awarded the AED1.6bn ($436m) systems and integration contract for stage 2 of the UAE’s national railway network to Hitachi Rail STS.

Hitachi Rail STS will be responsible for the design and build of railway systems in coordination with other stage 2 works and contracts. It will also manage uptime and operation tests.

The trains will be equipped with the latest European signalling system inside the locomotives (ETCS Level 2). Etihad Rail says this will ensure trains can easily move between GCC countries without stopping at borders.

The network will be equipped with a communications system and modern control centre, with its main operations in Faya and Mirfa to support and provide maximum safety and efficiency around the clock.

The contract is the latest major award for stage 2 of the UAE rail network. Etihad Rail awarded three civil works packages between March and June this year.

Previous awards

The firm awarded the first civil works package in March to a team comprising China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and South Korea’s SK Engineering. The contract is worth AED1.5bn.

That contract is for the construction of a 139 kilometre rail line in the Al-Dhafra region between Ghuweifat and Ruwais.

In June, the contracts for packages B and C were awarded to a joint venture of China Railway Construction Corporation and local contracting firm Ghantoot Transport & General Contracting.

The total contract value for both packages is AED4.4bn.

Package B runs for 216km, while package C runs for 94km. The packages are part of the 605km line from Ghuweifat to the Port of Fujairah.

Etihad Rail is also expected to imminently award the fourth civil works contract, package D, to the preferred bidder.

Package D involves the construction and design of 98km of mainline, plus a 29km line to Tawyeen in Sharjah and Fujairah.

Last year, Etihad Rail selected US-based Jacobs Engineering for the engineering design contract for stage 2 and future routes of the railway network. It also awarded French engineering consultancy Egis Group the project management consultancy contract for the scheme.

This article has been unlocked to allow non-subscribers to sample MEED’s content. MEED provides exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. For access to MEED’s Middle East business intelligence, subscribe here