IRAQ’s Ministry of Transport has said that a project to build a new railway to the Turkish border for freight and passenger traffic will be launched in early 2024.

The double-track line would run from the new port under development at Faw, on the Persian Gulf, and forms part of a package of new transport infrastructure that also includes a 1190km motorway.

The new port at Faw and its associated terminal facilities will cover over 100ha, with 2km of container berths and capacity to handle 99 million tonnes of freight a year.

According to Mr Maytham Al Safi, information director at the Ministry of Transport, the ministry is now considering the findings of a feasibility study for the rail project that was undertaken by an Italian consultancy.

The new railway to the Turkish border would pass through nine provinces in Iraq.

It would have initial capacity to carry 22 million tonnes of bulk freight and 3.5 million containers a year, which would be increased under a phased programme to reach 33 million tonnes and 7.5 million containers annually.

Initial capacity would also be sufficient to carry up to 13.8 million passengers a year.

The project is expected to boost trade between Iraq and Turkey, providing a more efficient and cost-effective means of moving freight and passengers between the two countries.

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