Baghdad Metro

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Baghdad Metro
Overview
LocaleIraq Baghdad
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines1
Technical
System length22 kilometres (14 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

The Baghdad Metro is a proposed rapid transit network for the Iraqi city of Baghdad. Construction is expected to start around Q2 2022[1]

Background[edit]

Commuter rail service[edit]

The Baghdad commuter rail service operated by the state owned Iraqi Republic Railways. It resumed operation in October 2008. The train ran about 24 kilometres (15 mi) between Baghdad Central Station and the southern neighbourhood of Dora. It operates two round trips a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The Baghdad Metro and the passenger train that runs between Baghdad and Basra, which resumed service in 2007, were the first two regular passenger services to resume in Iraq since the Iraq War.[2]

The rolling stock for the commuter train entered service in 1983.[2]

In February 2009 Iraqi Republic Railways introduced a passenger service between Baghdad and Fallujah. IRR intends in future to extend the service to Ramadi.[3]

Previous metro proposals[edit]

Saddam Hussein launched the multi-billion-dollar subway project in 1983 to alleviate traffic congestion in Baghdad's streets. Because of the Iran–Iraq War the project could not be finished.[4]

At a December 2002 press conference, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of "enormous miles and miles and miles of underground tunnelling" that prevented the United Nations from properly inspecting Saddam's WMD stocks.[5] Hussein al-Shahristani, a scientist imprisoned by Saddam, told CBS's 60 Minutes, "We believe now it is more than 100 kilometres of very complex network, multilayer tunnels."[5]

Since the 2003 Iraq War, traffic problems in Baghdad have increased significantly, because of the creation of the Green Zone, and the reduction of car-ownership regulation.[6] In November 2008, Baghdad mayor Sabir al-Isawi announced plans for a 2-line $US 3 billion expansion of metro services in the city which would be built pending funding. One line would run from Sadr City (previously called Al-Thawra or Saddam City) to A'dhamiya, while the other would link the center of Baghdad with its western suburbs. Each line would have 20 stations.[7] In February 2011, an agreement was signed with Alstom, for the construction of a 25 km line from central Baghdad to the northern suburbs of Adhamiya, Al-Hurriya, Kadhimiya, and Sha'ab.[8] Later in 2011 Alstom and the Iraqi government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Alstom to design, build and operate a Baghdad–Basra high-speed rail line.[9]

Current status[edit]

In 2017, Metro Report stated that a memorandum of understanding for the development of urban rail projects in Baghdad and Basra had been signed by the Iraqi government and Alstom that year, for a 20 km elevated light rail line in Baghdad that would link Mustansiriyah, Shaab, Wazireya, Alsarafiya bridge, Al-Khadumia, Al-Muthanna airport and Allawi.[10]

In 2019, it was confirmed that a French-South Korean consortium would begin construction on the metro in 2020, at a cost of $2.5 billion.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PROJECTS: Iraq to begin work on Baghdad Metro in Q2 2022".
  2. ^ a b Tina Susman and Caesar Ahmed (November 18, 2008). "All aboard the Baghdad Metro". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Hugh Tomlinson (February 10, 2009). "Iraq reopens passenger railway from Baghdad to Falluja". MEED.
  4. ^ Frank, Joshua (October 20, 2004). "The Collapse of Saddam's Secret Subway". Antiwar.com. Archived from the original on 2004-10-20. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  5. ^ a b Tanner, Robert (April 9, 2003). "U.S. Forces Investigate Iraqi Tunnels". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2003-04-27. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  6. ^ Hondros, Chris (June 2009). "Baghdad Metro". The Digital Journalist. Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  7. ^ Martin Chulov (November 19, 2008). "From roads to ruin, Baghdad gets back on track". The Age.
  8. ^ "BAGHDAD METRO". Railways Africa. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-02-19.
  9. ^ "Alstom tapped for Iraq HSR talks". Railway Age. 24 June 2011. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Baghdad and Basra urban rail memorandum signed by Alstom". 6 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Construction of Baghdad Metro to start in 2020". 4 April 2019.