Iraq rail investment plans

Iraq Development Program has a report from Noozz dated May 19 about various railway development plans. It is illustrated with a UK Class 323 EMU in Centro colours!

Iraq to invest $6 billion in railways to boost trade and tourism

Iraq will spend over $6 billion over the next few years to develop its railway infrastructure for passenger and freight services, connecting the whole country via a central hub encircling Baghdad according to the general director of the Iraqi Railroads Company.

Alaa ad-Deen Sadiq, the general director of the Iraqi Railroads Company, one of the enterprises of the ministry of transportation, told Al-Bayyina newspaper that the ministry has approved two giant projects for implementation and that a third is currently being discussed.

An unnamed international company has been awarded a design and modernization contract for the $1 billion Baghdad circle line railway. Construction on the project has already begun, and once completed it will encircle Baghdad, creating a 112km hub for all rail traffic moving across the country.

The project also includes the construction of two new passenger stations and a goods yard in south-west Baghdad, and three rail bridges, two across the river Tigris and one across the river Diyala.

Two new railways will be built in the second project linking Baghdad with Iraq’s southern sea ports for travel, tourism or commerce: Baghdad-Kut-Nsiriyya-Basra and Baghdad-Kut-Imara-Basra lines, at an estimated cost of $3 billion.

25 medium to large stations will be built along the lines, in addition to 20 interchange stations connecting to other railways, and a freight goods yard.

No details of completion dates were given in the report.

Sadiq revealed that a $2 billion railway to connect northern Iraq with Iran is in the planning stage, and will connect several major cities in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The 430km Baghdad-Kirkuk-Irbil-Mosul railway will serve as the central feeder line between Baghdad and the north, with central stations in Kirkuk and Mosul will feed two lines to Iran: Khanaqin-Munthiriyya-Khisravi-Qsr-Shirin-Kermanshah; and Khanaqin-Munthiriyya-Iran.

He did not give any details of where the line will run in Iran or the names of Iranian partners involved in the project.

Iraqi Railroads Company is undertaking modernization work on Iraq’s dilapidated railway infrastructure, the report said, highlighting efforts to install a fibre optic laser signaling system, signals, and a communications network, as well as announcing plans to integrate Iraq’s railways with neighbouring countries to increase tourism and commercial exchanges.

Dubai conference to include Iraq rail transport

Information about the Iraq Transportation & Communications Technology Summit to be held in Dubai on 9-10 October 2008.

One key area of precedence is that of the country’s rail networks, with a large number of projects being run through the State Company for Railways, including a new project for connecting Iraq with Iran, the modernisation of the existing networks, developing communications and signalling networks and restoring power supplies to stations across the country. The Ministry is also looking to purchase new rolling stock and other railway-related equipment such as cranes for equipment, freight trucks, emergency services vehicles and replacement train engines.