JORDAN: A new contract has been awarded for the construction and operation of the long-planned inter-urban light rail line between Amman and Zarqa.

The US$332m 30-year build-operate-transfer concession with Spain's Ineco-Tifsa and a Kuwaiti partner replaces a US$240m contract with a consortium of Jordanian, Pakistani and Chinese firms which was announced in May 2007 but then ran into legal difficulties.

Opening of the 26 km standard-gauge line with 12 stops is now planned for 2011. Most of the route of the electrified double track line will follow the Hedjaz Railway corridor.