PROJECTS: Iraq plans new rail project

Project to link Basra to border with Iran

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker places parts during the installation of the railway tracks in the NEAT Gotthard Base tunnel near Faido May 12, 2014. Crossing the Alps, the world's longest train tunnel should become operational at the end of 2016. The project consists of two parallel single track tunnels, each of a length of 57 km (35 miles).

Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker places parts during the installation of the railway tracks in the NEAT Gotthard Base tunnel near Faido May 12, 2014. Crossing the Alps, the world's longest train tunnel should become operational at the end of 2016. The project consists of two parallel single track tunnels, each of a length of 57 km (35 miles).

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Iraq will launch a project to build a rail network linking it with nearby Iran in the next few days after it was approved by the cabinet, an official was quoted on Monday as saying. 

The General Company for Railways in Iraq, a subsidiary of the Transport Ministry, will oversee the project to construct the rail that will connect the Southern Port of Basra with Shalamija, a border crossing with Iran, the Company’s Director General Jawad Al-Husseini told the official Iraqi News Agency. 

The Iraqi cabinet gave the green light to the Company in April to push ahead with the project, which has been in the pipeline for many years. 

“The next few days will see discussions on the memorandum of understanding signed with Iran for the Basra-Shalamija rail link…we hope that this project will enter the execution stage in the coming days,” Husseini said. 

He did not mention the project costs, but Baghdad said in 2020 that the Iraqi part of the project could cost nearly $150 million. Iran is executing its own part that linking its Khorramshahr city with Shalamija. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com

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