The Good Neighbour
Etihad Rail understands the importance of being a good neighbour, and is committed to ensuring that noise from the trains is kept to a minimum.
The acoustic impact of the network is closely monitored during project planning and operations. This approach is taken in order to prevent the risk of unnecessary disturbance.
With no road intersections, the trains’ horns will only sound in the case of an emergency. In addition, the tracks utilise modern technology that does not have joints, which significantly reduces noise intrusion when trains pass, and the ballast used beneath the tracks is formulated specially to absorb energy and noise. Sound levels generated by Etihad Rail trains are therefore minor; for example, the decibel (db) range for freight trains travelling at 100 kph with three locomotives and 110 wagons in normal circumstances should not exceed 88 dB at a distance of 25 meters.
Etihad Rail carefully considers and addresses various potentially impactful factors in the construction and operation of the railway, including environmental, local authority regulations, planning constraints and public health factors, to ensure the highest quality of facilities and to maintain efficiency, the smooth flow of traffic and the protection of wildlife.
For Stage One alone, Etihad Rail constructed 20 over-bridges, two under-bridges and 10 road underpasses so as not to interrupt traffic flow, along with 18 smaller underpasses for possible future use.
Animals need infrastructure too, so Etihad Rail also built three different types of animal crossings: 10 camel underpasses, 22 gazelle underpasses and 78 reptile underpasses, in order to minimise any disruption to the lives and natural habitats of native wildlife.
Stage One crossings, including railway bridges, highway bridges and underpasses, feature continuously along the rail route at a minimum of every six to seven kilometres, but this will dramatically change when the network routes approach suburban and urban conurbations. Etihad Rail is continually exploring the need for further structures, and is committed to building more, when and where necessary, to ensure minimal environmental impact.
Etihad Rail is very aware of the possible effects that the rail network may have on indigenous wildlife and vegetation.
The company works in close coordination with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, and the equivalent authorities throughout the Emirates, taking every precaution possible to preserve the UAE’s natural environment and heritage.Etihad Rail undertakes a range of measures, such as close monitoring of wildlife movement patterns and protecting their natural habitat, to ensure that any interference is minimised. Etihad Rail avoids wildlife breeding sites, particularly in the case of rare or endangered species, throughout the construction of the railway, and ensures that any vegetation in the path of railway routes is carefully extracted and re-planted in a suitable site.
While trains are one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport, Etihad Rail has taken further action to minimise its environmental impact, implementing the stringent standards employed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with regards to engine emission levels. Under these measures, Etihad Rail has ensured that its locomotives meet Tier 3 engine emission levels, which minimises environmental impact by monitoring and lowering exhaust emissions produced by locomotives, controlling nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter and carbon monoxide levels.
All the Etihad Rail right-of-way corridors and facilities are segregated by different types of fencing, including boundary, sand mitigation, security, anti-dazzle and military fences. Fence installation ensures a secure environment for the rail network, keeping rail corridors safe and maintainable during operations while also providing a secure and well maintained environment for people and wildlife in the surrounding areas.
The general public is invited to report any instances of fence incursions (animal, accidental, weather related etc.) on the Etihad Rail Emergency Number: 800 SIQA (800 – 7472).
Etihad Rail carries out constant Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) to minimise the environmental effects of the railway throughout its planning, development, construction and operation.
Etihad Rail has set out a comprehensive range of standards and guidelines to ensure that all contractors on site conform to a uniform, consistent and acceptable level of environmental performance and to protect the bio-environmental condition of the site.