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Iraq Seeks to Buy Trains, Solicits Bids From Alstom, Datong

Iraq wants to buy 10 passenger trains and has asked companies including France’s Alstom SA to submit bids, according to the country’s railway company.

Chinese businesses including Datong Electric Locomotive Co. have been invited to submit bids, as have manufacturers in Turkey, Iran and Croatia, Jawad al-Kharsan, a spokesman for the national railway, said in an interview in Baghdad today. The winning company will have to supply two trains this year and the remaining eight by 2013, he said.

The two new trains will run on a track linking the capital Baghdad with the southern port city of Basra, he said. Iraq bought 40,000 tons of railway track worth $50 million two years ago to complete and upgrade Iraq’s railway grid, he said.

Iraq’s railway company has 100 passenger wagons that are out of service and has invited the same companies to rehabilitate 50 of them for five trains, Mohammad Ali Hashim, head of the mechanical engineering department at the railway company, said in a telephone interview in Baghdad.

The company also owns about 1,000 cargo wagons that are working and 4,000 that are out of service, he said.

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