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Iraq looking for bidders on US$450mn rail project

Iraq is seeking bidders to compete for a US$450mn monorail project in the southern holy city of Kerbala.

Taif Abdul-Hussein, head of the Kerbala investment commission, said the 18km monorail would be built from a northern entrance to the city to the main Shi'ite shrines in the central area and then towards the northeastern city entrance.

Kerbala, 80 km southwest of Baghdad, hosts the shrines of two Shi'ite imams and is the site of several major religious rites.

"The project has an economic advantage and will solve the (problem of moving) throngs of people during religious events," Abdul-Hussein was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The train would be capable of speeds up to 100 km per hour and the line would have a station every 900-1000 metres, Abdul-Hussein added.