Saddam’s train in 2004

With the personal train of Saddam Hussein back in the news this month, here is an old article about it from the Sunday Times of July 25 2004.

Fat controller Saddam played games with his golden train

Two German-made engines and nine carriages imported from France were reserved for the use of the dictator. The engines have already been incorporated into the rest of Iraq’s limping railway network, but The Sunday Times was able to view some of Saddam’s former carriages in a siding at the Baghdad station.

There were ordinary sleeper compartments for the guards and a saloon and sleeping compartment for Saddam. It had been stripped bare by looters at the end of the war. “Nothing was left,” said Jabar. “Many fine fixtures were stolen.”

Opinion is divided about how often the famously paranoid Saddam boarded the train. There were suggestions that he used it more to confuse his enemies and would-be assassins than than he did for personal travel.

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