IRAQ: A memorandum of understanding for the development of urban rail projects in Baghdad and Basra has been signed by the Iraqi government and Alstom as part of a Franco-Iraqi inter-governmental meeting.
A 20 km elevated light rail line is proposed for Baghdad, which would link Mustansiriyah, Shaab, Wazireya, Alsarafiya bridge, Al-Khadumia, Al-Muthanna airport and Allawi. It is envisaged that Alstom would supply the rolling stock, electromechanical systems, track and associated civil works.
The proposed Basra metro would have two lines, both 15 km long with 15 stations. One would run north to south from the Shatt Al-Arab to Zubair, the other east–west from Karma.
‘We appreciate the opportunity to develop industrial cooperation with the Republic of Iraq, in order to better address the country’s needs for urban transport’, said Bernard Peille, Managing Director of Alstom in Western & Central Asia, on December 6. ‘Alstom is ready to bring its innovative technologies and sees the signature of this MoU as a first step towards the development of a long-term partnership with Iraq.’
A number of proposals for metro lines in Baghdad have been proposed over the years. In February 2013 Alstom was awarded a contract to undertake detailed design studies for an elevated line on a similar route to the current proposal; at the time it was hoped that construction could begin in 2014 and take around six years at a cost of US$1·5bn.