The UAE's rail project will expand to include passenger train services running across the country, the UAE's leaders said on Sunday in a major announcement.
Etihad Rail's network will grow from running heavy goods services to carry millions of passengers between its major cities by 2030, the government said.
The project – worth an estimated Dh200 billion to the economy – will allow "passengers to travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 50 minutes, and from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 100 minutes", a statement read.
"Etihad Rail is the largest project to consolidate the strength of the union for the next 50 years. It will connect 11 key cities and regions across the UAE," said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
"The project comes in line with the environmental policy of the UAE and it will reduce carbon emissions by 70-80 per cent".
At a briefing at Expo 2020 Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, reviewed progress on the expanding rail network and its impact on the local economy.
Officials did not give a start date for the first passenger services but said "by 2030, the number of passengers is expected to reach more than 36.5 million annually".
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