Baghdad Metro

28 October 2013

Tenders for Iraq’s long-delayed metro project are being prepared

Value: $3bn


Mayoralty of Baghdad

Tel: (+964) 1 818 4119


Project management Consultant


Tel: (+33) 1 4016 6100

Iraq’s capital has had a metropolitan surface railway in operation since 1983, running a limited service over 24 kilometres of track. Now, the Mayoralty of Baghdad is planning an altogether more ambitious project.

After a series of delays caused by financial and political troubles, plans call for the creation of a full underground metro network, with the tendering of construction work expected to start by the end of 2013.

France’s Systra – which began preliminary engineering work on the Baghdad Metro in January 2012 – is currently carrying out the basic design of the two proposed lines, as well as preparing the tender documents for the construction of the $3bn project.

Following the release of the tenders, Systra will also help the mayoralty appoint a contractor, which will undertake the project on an engineering, procurement and construction basis. The first line will extend 22km and the second 18km, with passenger stations marking each kilometre stage. The aim of the metro – for which plans have been around since 1981 – is to alleviate the traffic congestion that plagues the city.

The first line will run from Sadr City in the east through the city centre and then divert north. It is expected to have 14 stations, with a capacity to carry 30,000 passengers an hour. The second line will start out in the southwest of the city before crossing the River Tigris and continuing on to (predominantly Sunni) west Baghdad. This line will have 21 stations. Funding for phase one of the project has been put aside under Baghdad’s ID700bn ($602m) allocation announced in the 2013 national

budget. As yet, there are no target dates for the completion of the Baghdad Metro. Indications are that more than 80 trains, at a cost of more than $7bn, will service the network. The project is separate from the elevated rail scheme being undertaken in the capital. An agreement was signed in February with France’s Alstom to carry out detailed planning and design work for the 25km first phase of the elevated train line. Starting at Al-Mustansiriya University, the 14-station line will cross the River Tigris to reach the Kadhimiya district and will terminate near Baghdad Central railway station at Alawi.

Key dates

2008: Baghdad’s mayor resurrects the longmooted metro scheme, declaring that the government will put aside funds to carry out a feasibility study

2009: Seven international companies are reported to have been prequalified and given six months to bid for the construction contracts for the project

2012: Systra begins preliminary engineering work

2013: Construction tender

Source: MEED

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