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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Baghdad Railway Complex and Loop Line Railway Project

By Dr Samia J. Alkizwini

This study has intended to evaluate Baghdad Railway Complex and Loop Line Railway Project. The project represents a dramatic change in total capacity of railway system in Iraq and a break thought in transportation facilities in addition to its implications in urban development. A feasibility study has been elaborated by using the Standard Methodology considering all technical, financial and economic aspects. A point of departure, the design works and system-operations studies of consultant firms have re-examined carefully and thoroughly to develop the data base for evaluation. Construction period was supposed to be ten years, and 40 years for useful life of production.

The details of inputs and operations were sufficient enough to estimate the capital, fixed and working, as well as the current cost. Revenue and outlays have been classified and scheduled annually to formulate cash flow and other financial statements. The presentation of this study follows a very normal sequence: At the outset, national and sectoral context provides the justification of the project. Then an over view of technical aspects including geometric designs and construction work was introduced to be integrated with consequent financial, economic and social evaluation. Next present value, Internal Rate of Return, Pay-Back Period and Benefit Cost Ratio were recalculated systematically with in the process of assessment.

The rate of return of capital represented by internal rate of return estimated as 6.5%, for the project in its present design. In order to increase the efficiency of investment, many alterations and changes in the project design have been tried. The Cost-Benefit tests suggest a new design, as the best, via: elimination of eastern section at the loop line and Baghdad East Station, reducing the number of lanes in the complex of South-West Baghdad. The adjustments mentioned above resulted in internal rate of return estimated 9.2%. The project with these changes is recommended as feasible and acceptable. The reliability of evaluation indicators was considered with the aid of a comprehensive sensitivity and analysis which has insisted that the project could tolerate unexpected risks and uncertainties within a wide band of contingencies. Finally it is necessary to say that government regulations and management styles could seriously affect the actual efficiency of investment.

Aim of the project
1- Connect all railway lines which directed to Baghdad from different directions to insure easy movement of largest number of trains.

2- Take off all railway lines with the same road level.

3- Construct a new service and maintenance complex in the country side and prevent heavy trucks to enter the city centre.

Also this project has different effect on the national economy, like:

1- Increase transportation capacity.

2- Increase train speeds.

3- Increase the railway network to cover all the country.

4- Development and improvement of loading by improvement Freight and Marshalling Yard.

The main contains of the project
Because the project is very big it decided to divide the project into 8 parts:

1- the west part of the Loop Line
2- Railways Complex is include:
- Marshalling Yard
- Freight Yard
- Maintenance and Repair Facilities
3- Passenger central station. This station designed to receipt 140 trains daily on total area 1,700,000 m2 for 68,000 passengers.
4- the east part of the Loop Line
5- eastern station
6- Bridge on Tigris River, north Baghdad. This bridge length is 484m and covers area about 7000m2.
7- Bridge on Tigris river, south Baghdad. This bridge length is 484.35m and covers area about 7700m2.
8- Bridge on Diyala River. This bridge length is 281.60m and covers area about 4500m2.
The height of the three bridges is 6.5m above water level.
The main specifications for the above Rail Bridges are:
- The Span from 29.30m to 38.30m
- The width of Single Lane is 7.96m
- The width of Dowel Lane is 12.50m
- Using pre-cast and pre-stress reinforced concrete beams
- Reinforced concrete Piers height is from 8m to 13m and the abutments about 11m to 16m.
- Piling foundation diameter is 1200mm.

Phases of construction
Phase I
- The west part of the loop line
- Railways complex
-Passenger central station

Phase II
- The east part of the loop line
-Eastern station
- and the 3 bridges

Design measurements
1- Two dowel line with 112km around Baghdad city , 6 connections in different levels ( the total length of these connections are 120km), and 5 branch lines some of them dowel and others single. The total length for the main and branch railway lines are 284.
2- The design speed for the main railway line is 200km/hour, for connections are 130km/hour, for branches are 100km/hour, and at the diversions are 30km/hour.
3- Type of steel railway is UIC60 kg.
4- The width of the railway lane is 1433mm.
5- Used pre-cast concrete with fixing Pandrol type.
6- For embankment, supposed to use compacted layers of Common Soil and Granular Material.
7- Reinforced concrete culverts in different shapes as in Fig. 5, for vehicles and pedestrians.
8- Smallest radius for horizontal bent is 2100m for the main lane and 1000m in the connection and diversion locations.
9- Vertical bent radiuses 1000m for the main lane and 4000m in the connection locations.
10- The slop was 0.5%.
11- Sub-ballast thickness is 30-35 cm.
12- Embankment width as following:
-12.7m for the dowel lane
-7.75m for the single lane
-21.40m for the dowel lane of the tunnel

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