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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Florida DOT's Haddad accepts position with Qatar Railways


He’s spent nearly 32 years with the Florida Department of Transportation — many of them, trying to get the state’s high-speed rail project off the ground — but Nazih Haddad is now moving on. Yesterday, he announced he’s accepted a position as chief operating and programs officer for the Qatar Railways in Doha, Qatar.

Haddad will be responsible for overseeing the planning, development and implementation of an integrated railway system in the country, including a metro rail system in Doha, light-rail system in Lusail, and intercity high-speed passenger and freight-rail systems linking Doha to several neighboring countries. Work on the $26 billion system already has begun and most projects are scheduled to be complete by 2022, in time for a World Cup event in Doha.

Haddad currently serves as chief operating officer for the Florida Rail Enterprise, which had been charged by FDOT to oversee the state’s high-speed rail efforts until Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected federal funds for the Tampa-Orlando line, shutting the project down for the time being.

“I am disappointed we were not successful in bringing HSR to fruition in Florida, but proud of the superb effort and of the great team we brought together with over 150 extremely dedicated people from both inside and outside the department to undertake the project,” Haddad wrote in an email to friends and colleagues.


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More News from 3/15/2011