Defending the railroads

The Daily Telegraph of October 12 2007 has an article by Damien McElroy entitled “Iraq insurgency: Defending the railroads”.

McElroy reports from al-Qaim,saying

The unending suspension of Iraq’s national railway stands as a stark symbol of the failure to rebuild the nation.

Getting the network operating is not one of Washington’s 18 benchmarks for progress in Iraq but the resumption of scheduled services along thousands of miles of track would mark a momentous breakthrough four years after the war to depose Saddam Hussein.

Two Iraq Republic Railway inspectors at the remote desert railhead in al-Qaim have defied terrorist threats and criminal gangs to loyally keep the railway open on limited local runs.

Freight trains carrying supplies for a phosphorous plant are the only service offered at al-Qaim, which is also the main American base.

There are also some good photos.