Iraq is planning to build a dual rail line for freight and passenger trains that will link its Southern Faw Port with Turkey as part of a multi-billion-dollar project dubbed ‘Development Road,’ according to the Transport Ministry.  

The project also comprises a 1,190-km motorway for cargo trucks that will run parallel to the rail network, the Ministry said in a report published by Aliqtisad News and other publications in OPEC’s second largest oil producer.  

The cabinet has already approved the project and the routes for both the rail line and the motorway, the study said, adding that it would soon begin procedures for project designs.  

The freight train will have an initial capacity of 3.5 million containers and 22 million tonnes of bulk cargo per year, to be raised in the second phase to 7.5 million containers and 33 million tonnes/year.  

The high-speed passenger train, which will travel at 300 kph, has an initial capacity of 13.8 million passengers per year and will pass through 9 governorates, the report said, adding another 140-kph electric train would also be built.  

The two-way motorway will be built in desert areas outside population centres since it will be confined only to cargo trucks, the report said.  

“The two projects include the construction of service facilities for passengers and truck drivers…they are designed to connect Iraq with Europe via Turkey to turn the country into a strategic commercial and logistics hub,” it added.

Read more: Iraq approves Development Road link with Turkey

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)