Iraq-Syria Rail Link to Begin Operations in 2012

A railway connecting Syria and Iraq will begin operations next year, according to a report from Kuwait’s KUNA news agency.

In addition, a direct line connecting Syria’s eastern Deir Al-Zor-Al-Bukamal station to Iraq has been completed, the director general of the Syrian rail company has said.

“The rail link is a direct line that will guarantee smooth transport of commodities from Syria toward Iraq,” he said, adding that continuing work in building the Deir Al-Zor-Al-Bukamal station is a part of the project.

Iraq and Syria began the railway project to link both countries and transfer freight from southern Europe to the Gulf region.

The Iraq-Syria project came after confirmation of a Jordanian plan to resurrect a $6 billion railway project linking the port hub of Aqaba in Jordan to Syria, via Amman and Zarqa, including links to Saudi Arabia.

In May 2011 Iraq and Jordan also signed a preliminary agreement to build a railway connecting Baghdad and Aqaba with the aim to strengthening commercial ties.

The railway is expected to be 150 kilometers long, and the trains will travel at speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour.

(Source: Al Arabiya, KUNA)

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