Thales and Etihad Rail to cooperate on rail control, smart stations and ticketing
Thales and Etihad Rail signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday that will see the two companies cooperate on the development of various smart technologies.
The areas of cooperation include, but are not limited to rail control, ETCS level 3, various driver assistance systems and asset management. The collaboration also extends to the field of passenger flow, video analytics and booking and ticketing systems.
For Thales, the moves represents an opportunity to “highlight” its presence in the Middle East, Millar Crawford, Executive Vice-President, Ground Transportation Systems, said about the cooperation with Etihad Rail. The operator, on its part, feels confident that the collaboration with bolster its aim to build the UAE’s national rail system to the highest standard, Ahmed Al Musawa, Executive Director of Passenger Sector, noted.
Etihad Rail previously announced a similar cooperation with Renfe and HS1, centred on knowledge transfers.
Etihad Rail intends to deepen its knowledge, as there are a lot of major rail projects afoot in the UAE. In addition to expanding the Etihad Rail freight network to 1,200 kilometres, the company is also working on a passenger service and a future light rail network.
These works are grouped under the UAE Railways Program, which is valued at 50 billion emirate dirham (12,25 billion euros) and calls for 200-kilometre-per-hour passenger services between the country’s main cities. As a result, travel time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai should be reduced to 50 minutes.
The UAE is targeting an annual passenger number across the network of 36,5 million by 2030. By that time, the railway sector should support more than 9,000 jobs in the emirates.