Companies from all over the world to bid for Jordan rail network tender

PTRC invites international companies to tender for rail project

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By  Rhys Jones Published  September 11, 2004

The Public transport Regulatory Commission (PTRC) of Jordan has invited local, Arab and international companies to bid for the construction of a 28 km railway commuter network connecting the Raghadan area in Amman with the industrial city of Zarqa. According to PTRC director general, Mohammad Hamed, the railway will be designed to meet the expected increase in passenger traffic between Amman and Zarqa, which home 2 million and 900 000 residents, respectively. Currently, 150 000 passengers shuttle between the two cities daily and are served by 280 public transport buses. Work on the railway to start in a few months and to end by 2008. Hamed said that the dual-track railway, where an electrical train will run, is expected to cost around US $100 million and will be built either on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) or a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis. “One advantage of operating an electrical train is that it is environment-friendly compared with trains running on diesel,” said Hamed. Another benefit is that it will help reduce car accidents on the highway connecting Amman with Zarqa. The railway will be extended by around 18 km late in 2008 or early 2009 to connect Raghadan with Abdali, the Sports City, the University of Jordan and Sweileh. The government formed a steering committee headed by Minister of Transport Raed Abu Saud two months ago to follow up on the railway project. Currently, there is only one railway network operating in the Kingdom, connecting the phosphate mines in the southern region of the Kingdom with the port city of Aqaba. It is used for transporting phosphates to the port from where they are shipped to international markets. The country exports more than 4.2 million tonnes of phosphates annually. India, Turkey and Pakistan are among the major importers of the Kingdom’s phosphates and could be facilitated by a new line. Meanwhile, plans to rehabilitate or construct an additional 25 000 km of rail lines to create an interconnected regional rail network are being discussed by SNCFI officials.

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