The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is to make a decision on the feasibility of the planned $333m Amman-Zarqa light railway network by March, according to a source at Jordan’s Transport Ministry.

The IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is the transaction consultant on the project.

Beirut-based Dar al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) has already completed the preliminary design work for the railway project and the IFC now needs to decide whether to approve the designs and the feasibility of the scheme.

The project involves constructing a 28-kilometre dual-track railway running from Raghadan station in Amman to Zarqa, the country’s second largest city which lies to the northeast of the capital.

If the IFC does give its approval, construction work could start by January 2011, says the ministry source.

The project has been on hold since April 2009 when the ministry decided to restructure the scheme after terminating the contract of a winning consortium for the second time (MEED 09:04:09).

If it goes ahead, the railway will be built as a public procurement scheme.