UAE's freight trains run for the first time this week

Etihad Rail executive reveals that a trial run was conducted.
John Lesniewski, Etihad Rail's commercial director.
John Lesniewski, Etihad Rail's commercial director.


Freight trains ran for the first time in the UAE on Sunday, revealed Etihad Rail’s commercial director, John Lesniewski, yesterday.

Speaking at Logistics Middle East magazine’s annual Leaders in Logistics Conference yesterday, Lesniewski revealed that the firm had conducted its first test run this week. “I’m proud to announce that our first trains ran yesterday [Sunday],” he said.

“We now have, in the UAE, locomotives, on tracks, on the ground. And our team of consultants, planners, engineers, construction specialists, procurement specialists has accomplished all of this in little over 18 months. That is a miracle.

“It is really a miracle to build all this track in 18 months, so we are really proud of this day,” added Lesniewski.

The firm is conducting dynamic testing on sections of track between Mirfa and Ruwais.

Etihad Rail, the state-backed firm building a $10bn railway network in the UAE, had announced previously that it expects to start operations by the end of the year.

Lesniewski was one of the speakers at the event, which attracted more than 150 industry leaders and also included key note speeches from Mahmood Al-Bastaki (chief executive officer, Dubai Trade); Mohsen Ahmad (VP Logistics District, DWC) and David Dronfield (general manager, FAMCO).

Interactive panel discussions were also held throughout the day on topics such as: Embracing the technology revolution; Regional hubs: how to leverage them; GCC borders and the challenge to timely logistics; and the business case for investing in staff.

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