The Najaf monorail project in southern Iraq has stalled following the expiration of the construction contract.

Iraq’s Transport Ministry signed the contract with Canada’s Transglobim International in July 2010.

“We had signed the contract, but the contract has expired and also [there have been] financial issues so the project is frozen,” says Mohammed Ali Hashim, chief engineer and director of electro-mechanic department for Iraq’s State Railways Company.

The monorail was planned to be 37 kilometres long and designed to link the three major mosques of Imam Ali, Kufa and Sahla. A later phase would have seen the monorail linked with the airport at Najaf.

Transglobim had been due to finance, survey, design, construct and operate the monorail network for a period of 30 years.

Hashim was speaking in Baghdad at the country’s first transport conference organised by London-based Entico Corporation.