September 13 - A contract signed by Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE's standard gauge national railway network, for 240 Chinese-made covered wagons is set to provide a lucrative contract for a project cargo forwarder over the next three

Beijing-based China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) is to supply the covered wagons for the carriage of granulated sulphur in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. Etihad Rail is working in partnership with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) to construct the 266 km route that will transport up to 22,000 tonnes of granulated sulphur daily from sources in Shah and Habshan for export in Ruwais. A leading company in the realm of rail transportation, CSR will provide covered wagons ideal for carrying the sulphur in a safe and efficient manner.

Construction on the first phase of the network is scheduled to commence at the end of this year with the first freight trains scheduled to be on the tracks by 2013. The railway network will be built in phases to link the principal centres of population and industry of the UAE, as well as to form a vital part of the planned GCCrailway network linking the six countries of the GCC.

With covered rail wagons typically weighing around 17 tonnes unladen, this contract could involve around 4,100 tonnes of cargo to be moved from China to the UAE.