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Old May 13th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #1
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Amman-Zarqa Light Rail System

Pakistani-Chinese-Jordanian consortium win Amman-Zarqa light railway project

Jordan Times
By Mohammad Ghazal
Wednesday, May 9, 2007

AMMAN — A Pakistani-Chinese-Jordanian consortium won the tender to implement the Amman-Zarqa light railway project, which is designed to curb traffic jams on the highway between the two cities and reduce air pollution.

Minister of Transport Saud Nseirat told reporters on Tuesday that the Infrastructure Development Company PVT Ltd. (IDC) consortium met the technical and financial requirements of the project and will implement the JD160-180 million scheme.

Construction work on the project is expected to start soon after the consortium completes procedures to establish a company to run the project, said the minister.

The project involves a commuter train running on a dual-track railway from Zarqa city to Raghadan station, Nseirat indicated, pointing out that the 28-kilometre railway will be operational by late 2009 or during that year.

According to the minister, the project will make use of the current Hijaz track extending from Al Mahatta area in Amman to Zarqa.

He said the ministry, however, will soon complete the acquisition process of three kilometres of land from Al Mahatta to Raghadan station for the extension of the railway.

“The project is very vital to the Kingdom. The dual-track train is environment-friendly first of all as it will run on electricity instead of fuel,” the minister explained. “In addition, the project will address the problem of traffic congestion on the Amman-Zarqa highway.”

By running on electricity, the project is also expected to address the problem of air pollution in the Zarqa Governorate, which is home to 52 per cent of the country’s industrial facilities.

Officials described the project as the backbone of transport between Amman and Zarqa, as about 100,000 passengers shuttle daily between the two cities. According to official figures, about 50 per cent of the Kingdom’s population lives in Amman and Zarqa.

The train will make an average of 78 trips per day between Amman and Zarqa at a speed of 90 kilometres per hour, Nseirat said noting that a concrete barrier will be built along both sides of the railway for safety purposes.

“We did not leave the prices open to the investors,” he added. “We set the price from JD0.42 to JD0.50 maximum, which is a very logical price.”

He remarked that by the year 2009 fares of mini-buses on the Amman-Zarqa route might reach the same fare of the train.

The fare of mini-buses from Amman to Zarqa and vice versa, currently stands at JD0.25.

The government has pledged to support the project through subsidising infrastructure costs by up to JD60 million, covering the cost of land acquisition, infrastructure and roads.

The government’s return on the project amounts to JD14.7 million, the minister told reporters.

Meanwhile, Nseirat said the government has a plan to start other projects to extend the railway from the Raghadan bus terminal to Ras Al Ain. It also plans to create a route from from Raghadan station to Al Abdali area and later a route from Raghadan to the Queen Alia International Airport.

Finally a practical railway system in Jordan!!
I hope Pakistani and Chinese technology will make a great, safe, state-of-the-art railway system in Jordan!!
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Old May 14th, 2007, 11:16 PM   #2
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good news, there was such traffic jam in summer between 5-8 afternoon that it took about 1h to go from amman to zarqa...and the distance is only 30km
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