Syria launches first phase of Hijazi underground construction
The construction of first phase of the Hijazi underground railway was recently launched by the Syrian Transport Minister Makram Ubeid. This initial 1.3-kilometer link is expected to run a 69-million Syrian pounds ($1.32 million) cost, and is to be completed by July 2002, the official Al-Baath paper quoted Head of the Hijazi Railways Public Corporation Salah Ahmed as saying.
French Minister of Transportation Jean Claude Gayssot met with his Syrian counterpart, Makram Obeid, in September to discuss future transportation cooperation between Paris and Damascus. The French government declared its intention on donating new railway tracks and buses to Syria, and on either renovating or replacing the Hijaz railway system.
In 2000, Syria’s Ministry of transportation allocated a total of SP 79 billion to railway, sea and aviation development, through a five-year development plan. A new railway line from Deir Ezzour to Abukamal on the Iraqi border is currently under construction. Syria has also contracted a Kuwaiti company to upgrade the roadway between Latakia on the western coast and Aleppo.
Last year the Hijazi railway, connecting Damascus with Saudi Madina, via Jordan, was reopened between Damascus and Amman, reported Daily Star. Discussions started with Turkey in mid-1999 indicate renewed interest in rehabilitating the Hijaz Railway between the two countries, but there is no obvious source of financing for such a project. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)