Mayoralty of Baghdad
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Baghdads underground metro scheme has become a long-running saga, but there appears to be greater momentum behind a separate plan for an elevated railway that will serve the Iraqi capital alongside the two-line underground.
In January 2011, Frances Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mayoralty of Baghdad on the scheme. The E30m ($40m) contract covers the design phase of the project, including civil works, electromechanical studies, ground analysis, infrastructure and topography. This phase will last for 10 months. Estimates suggest the entire project will cost $600m.
The system will be known as the Baghdad Elevated Train (BET) and will comprise a 25-kilometre line on a viaduct linking Al-Mustansiriya in the north to Alawi in the centre of the city.
This first phase will cross the River Tigris on a new bridge near the existing Sarafiya Bridge to reach the Kadhimiya district. From there, it will track the Muthanna Airport Road to finish near Baghdad Central railway station at Alawi, where the depot will be located. Fourteen stations are planned.
A second stage of BET will run from Alawi, through the Karkh and Bayaa areas to Saidiya. A third phase could run from Saidiya to Jadiriyah and Karrada, before looping back to Alawi.
Regional projects tracker MEED Projects reports that preliminary design work was completed on the project this year and the final design is expected to be finished by March of next year. The construction work would start after the approval of complete design.
Alstom aims to work on the construction phase, which is estimated to last five years.
Baghdads efforts to promote the elevated railway as a privately financed project have failed, however, forcing the mayoralty to provide the funding. Previously, Frances government offered concessionary funding terms, with a low-interest loan repayable over a 20-year period.
2010: Baghdad Elevated Train project launched in July
2011: Memorandum of understanding signed with Frances Alstom, covering the design phase of the project
2013: Preliminary design work completed
2014: Final design expected