Baghdad is expected to tender the construction work on the city’s proposed metro by the end of 2013.

“The next step would be international tendering for construction of the lines. That will normally happen in less than one year and a half,” says a source close to the project.

France’s Systra is already carrying out the basic design of the two lines of Baghdad metro, as well as preparing the tender documents for the construction of the project. Once the tender has been issued, Systra will also help the municipality appoint a contractor.

Iraq rail projects
Project City Budget Scope Status
Baghdad metro Baghdad $3bn Two metro lines running 40km Preliminary engineering
Karbala monorail Karbala na 18km monorail for the city Tender
Najaf monorail Najaf $600m 37km monorail project Construction
Baghdad Elevated Train Baghdad $600m 25km elevated train for Baghdad city centre Planned
na=Not available. Source: MEED

Systra began preliminary engineering work in January this year. The project is currently progressing well having suffered years of delay due to a lack of financing and political instability. The project will be carried out using an engineering, procurement, construction contract.

Iraq also expects a private-sector contribution to its transport projects. For the metro, this will most likely be in form of appointing a private operator and/or maintenance provider.

“We believe this would be the best practical and reliable solution. During tendering, this point will be clarified,” the source says.

Line 1 of the metro will be about 22 kilometres long and Line 2 will be about 18km long. Both lines will have passenger stations built each kilometre.

Systra has already been involved in supervising the feasibility study for the metro. Baghdad Municipality intends to fund the metro directly. The metro is intended to form the backbone of Baghdad’s future transport development and is the long-term solution to Baghdad’s severe congestion problem. The metro is just one component in a nationwide plan to upgrade Iraq’s transport infrastructure. This will be done through the expansion and rehabilitation of roads and airports, the construction of the new Grand Faw port in Basra and the construction of monorail projects in Karbala and Najaf.