Syria's state railway company said Sunday, March 11, it will accept bids to build the country's first electric rail network, potentially creating thousands of jobs.
At a cost of between $330 and $400 million, the company hopes to build "high-speed railroads that correspond to international norms" from the Lebanese border to Damascus and the capital's airport, railway official Salah Ahmad told the official newspaper Tishrin.
He added that a line would stretch 45 kilometers (25 miles) south of Damascus to Katana. A second project, funded by Syria, would connect the capital with the Jordanian border region, including Daraa, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the Damascus.
"These projects are going to modernize the company's services and create some 10,000 jobs in a reactivated railway sector," he said.
Syria has 2,450 kilometers (1,450 miles) of railroad tracks around the country and is served by 210 diesel wagons, half of which are Soviet-built. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)