Rolling stock in Iraq

Derailed railway wagon at Umm Qasr, Iraq, August 2003.

Some random bits of information about coaches and wagons in Iraq.

  • Railroad Passenger Coaches. A call for tenders to supply some sleeper, restaurant and couchette cars, dated August 22 2004. It gives some details of the sort of rolling stock required by IRR. TOTAL LENGTH OVER BUFFERS: 26400 mm plus/minus CENTER PIN DISTANCE: 19000 mm plus/minus CARBODY WIDTH: 2825 mm plus/minus BODY HEIGHT FROM TOP OF RAIL: 4050 mm plus/minus FLOOR HEIGHT FROM TOP OF RAIL: 1250 mm plus/minus FOLDING STEP HEIGHT: 565 mm plus/minus AXLE LOADING (max) 16.5 metric tons … HEIGHT OF COUPLER less or equal to 060mm ATR UIC 505-1 LOADING GAUGE, IRR LOADING GAUGE # Z 7056 MAXIMUM OPERATING SPEED: 160 kph COUPLERS UIC SA-3
  • Heavy transport company Team Lift Denmark has some photographs depicting the delivery of 2 000 assorted wagons from the builder in Poland to Iraqi Railways. The vehicles were loaded as deck cargo aboard ships at Gydnia, Poland; by sea to Aquaba, Jordan, thence overland by heavy-haul flatbed highway trucks to Iraqi rail at Akashat, Iraq. (The photos are undated, but possibly when the port at Umm Quasr and rail links via Syria or Turkey were closed?)
  • 2003-08-07.
    There was a derailment in the port at Umm Qasr. Here are some US Army photos from a correspondent, showing a bogie flat wagon and a container which fell off. The train derailed at 17:00, but was fixed in time for the 00:15 departure.

    1. Derailment 1
    2. Derailment 2
    3. Derailment 3
    4. Derailment 4
    5. Derailment 5
  • 2003-04-22 Saddam’s phantom train is now a sorry sight Saddam Hussein’s private train, which he never bothered to use, now sits vandalised and looted in a dark railyard in Baghdad’s deserted central station… “Saddam preferred to travel by plane for security reasons”…Three engines allocated for presidential use and another unit purely to supply electricity, glistening with new green paint, were built in 1984 by the German company Thyssen, as attested by a plaque fixed to their sides…The living quarters – five French-made carriages – comprised a lounge, a dining room, sleeping quarters and a seating area… Is it the white train in the bottom left of this aerial photo?
  • The Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable for July – August 2002 includes this about Iraq Republic Railways: Three classes of accomodation are provided, first, second and tourist1 and 2 class seats convert into berths for overnight travel; sleeping and refreshment cars operate on some trains, and all services are air-conditioned.

    Timetables are goven for Baghdad – Ar Ramadi East (on the line towards the Syrian border at Abu Kamal), Baghdad – Basra and Baghdad – Al Mawsil (for links to Syria and Turkey) services.

  • The condition of rolling stock is deplorable, with windows in passenger coaches a rarity … All signalling on the Baghdad – Basra main line is reported to be defunct, with trains being run on telephone orders. Speed restrictions abound, so that the 541km trip now takes anything up to 16h. Train crew are not paid regular wages, just for each trip completed said Railway Gazette International February 2000
  • ANF Industries was to supply 236 air-conditioned coaches said Railway Gazette International in January 1982 (p18). In 1981 IRR had ordered 78 coaches and vans from Invest-Import of Jugoslavia for delivery by December 1982.
  • Various track maintenance yellow machines which Eastern Company USA was involved in the supply of (I’m not sure what the Korea TGV is doing there!).

And not forgetting….

Slide released by the US Department of State, 2003-02-05, showing an artist’s impression of a railroad car outfitted for biological weapon production.

Please note – I offer no comment as the existence or otherwise of these!

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