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June 25, 2010

Talks held on Baghdad metro plan

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A DELEGATION from the Mayoralty of Baghdad visited the head office of engineering consultancy Systra in Paris this week to discuss plans for the first two metro lines in the Iraqi capital. The delegation was lead by vice-mayor Mr Ibrahim Hussein, who was received by Systra managing director Mr Philippe Citroën for three days of talks on the project.

Line 1 will run for 18km from Sadr City in the northeast to the city centre, turning northwest to pass through Al Khulani and along the eastern bank of the Tigris River before terminating at Antar Square. It will have 20 stations . The second line will run from the southeastern district of Al Fath, intersecting with Line 1 at Al Khulani before crossing the Tigris to serve the west of the city. Line 2 will be 22km long with 21 stations.

Both the Mayoralty and Systra say they are confident of reaching an agreement in the next few weeks and design work could begin as soon as September.

A metro network was first proposed in Baghdad in the 1970s, but the plans were shelved soon after the start of the war with Iran in 1980. The plans have been revived to alleviate road congestion, which has grown rapidly as a result of relaxation of the rules on car ownership following the Iraq War. 

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