By John Lee.
The Iraqi Ministry of Transport has said that it is studying the designs for the "development road project", sometimes referred to as the "dry canal project".
The project will link Iraq's Grand Faw port, which is still under construction, by rail to the Mediterranean, with the intention of providing a cost-effective alternative to the Suez Canal.
According to a statement from the Ministry, the plans include a high-speed railway line for passengers and goods, from the large port of Faw to the Turkish border, with a length of 1,175 km.
The railway line will have two tracks, one for passengers and the other for goods, with a high-speed train for passengers and a capacity of 13.8 million passengers annually. The second railway line will be dedicated to goods with a speed ranging from 130 to 140 km/h and will pass through nine provinces.
The road will be a highway for trucks, starting from Faw and passing through desert areas without the need to enter cities.
Cameras will be installed along the road, with rest areas for passengers and loading/unloading zones.
The transportation system used in the project will be the European system to ensure the continuity of global train traffic, taking into consideration the issue of mass tourism.
The Minister of Transport has obtained preliminary approvals for the project.
Proposals have been prepared by Italian consulting company Progetti Europa & Global S.p.A. (PEG).
(Source: Ministry of Transport)
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