Alstom inks Iraq high-speed rail line deal
Paris, June 25, 2011
French engineering giant Alstom has signed a preliminary deal to build a high-speed 150 km rail line linking Basra and Baghdad in Iraq, said a report.
The proposed line would involve a 650km network and handle speeds of up to 250km per hour serving cities of Karbala, Najaf, Moussayeb and Samawah, said a BBC report quoting an Alstom official.
Alstom signed a MoU with Iraqi officials as a first step in the project and later it will hold exclusive talks with Iraqi officials for 12 months to try to strike a final agreement, the official added.
French junior transport minister Thierry Mariani, who announced the move at the Paris International Airshow on Friday, said he would travel to Iraq in September or October to discuss the possible deal.
In May, Alstom announced a separate preliminary deal to build a 25 kilometre elevated commuter train network in Baghdad.