Construction of the infrastructure package for the $180m first phase of the Qom monorail is scheduled to begin on 1 February.

The construction work will be executed by a local consortium that includes Mapna and Kayson Company. The contract involves the construction of a 6.2-kilometre elevated track with seven stations, that when opened will have 14 trains operating on it.

The construction of the infrastructure is expected to take 30 months to complete. Design work on the project began in July 2009 and has now been finished, according to an engineer involved in the project.

Later phases of the project will add another 12 kilometres of track forming an 18-kilometre long monorail network for the city.

The client is Qom Urban Railway Organisation and local firm Metra is responsible for the design of the monorail.

Located in central Iran, 150 kilometres south of Tehran, the Qom monorail is aimed at reducing congestion and traffic in the city. Traffic is an issue for the city as it has a holy shrine which makes it a significant destination for many pilgrims.

A number of monorail projects are planned for other cities in the country, including Tehran, Mashhad and Kermanshah.