Sand removal machines arrive

Kershaw Sand Removal Machines delivered to Iraqi Republic Railways

Date: March 29, 2010

Al-Burhan Group has delivered two sand removal machines to Iraqi Republic Railways (IRR), as part of a contract signed in November 2008. The machines reached Umm Qasr Port on Saturday, the 27th of March 2010. The 46-6 Kershaw Sand Removal Machines had been shipped from the United States, from Kershaw / Progress Rail – Railway Division of Caterpillar. They will provide a fast and efficient means of managing drifting sand on IRR tracks and are needed in Western where sand covers the railway tracks extensively.


IRR sand removal machines

Kershaw’s Model 46-6 Sand Removal Machines to join the IRR’s fleet of railway maintenance vehicles:

Al Burhan Group had signed a contract in 2008 with Iraqi Republic Railway to deliver 2 Kershaw Sand Removal Machines – Model 46-6 in 2009. Al Burhan Group has been working with Kershaw/Progress Rail to get the machines shipped on the 31st of December 2009, on Wallensius Wilhelmsen Lines to Um Qasr via Jabel Ali.

The machine will be one of the most superior machines used for removing sand from the train tracks. It’s the first time such a machine is being added to the Iraqi Republic Railway’s fleet of railway equipment. This machine will enable the IRR to focus on the dust covered track in the Western part of the country. This would improve the links between Iraq and its Western neighbours.

Turkey to Iraq passenger revival

Following a January 15 2010 agreement between the Turkish, Syrian and Iraqi railways, passenger services between Mosul in Iraq and Gaziantep in Turkey are restarting this week.

The first train left Mosul on February 16 and was due to arrive in Gaziantep at 08.30 the next day, having passed through Syrian en route. The return journey sets off on February 18. “Economic, social and cultural ties will contribute to the development of the Gaziantep-Mosul passenger train” says TCDD.

The regular weekly service will leave Mosul at 12:00 on Tuesdays and Gaziantep at 21:00 on Thursdays, with a total journey time of 18 hours including the border formalities. A ticket is €25, or €35 in a couchette.

(disclaimer: this is based on a machine translation of the announcement on the TCDD website. Don’t blame me if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere!)

The BBC has a report Iraq-Turkey railway link re-opens, with a basic map of the Berlin – Baghdad route(!).

Thomas Cook on Iraqi rail services

World’s worst services: The night train to Basra

Whenever you feel depressed about the state of the railways in Britain, just turn to the latest ‘Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable’. The new edition is a bargain at £13.99, the Bible for terrestrial travellers beyond the bounds of Europe. But the tireless compilers have their work cut out to promote travel by train when so many nations appear to be doing their best to dismantle the railways.
But there is one glimmer of hope in an unlikely location: “We have had a report that there is now a night train between Baghdad and Basra. It apparently leaves three times a week (which days are unknown) at 1600 and takes 18 hours with no stops en route.”
Source: The Independent 2009-07-08

Steel tender

Ministry of Transport
Iraqi Republic Railways Co
Dept / Central purchasing
Ref / RBG / Steel Wire
Date 17 / 6 / 2009
Tender Announcement

The Iraqi railways company “IRR” Baghdad Iraq announces the issuanace of the following tender.:

Supplying of 500 ton of steel wire 3mm diameter for prestressed concrete sleepers according to specification s , Documents, special and general condition of the tender which can be obtained (by authorized representative of the company) from commercial department in Iraq railways head quarter building in Baghdad against the payment of non- refundable of (150000 I.D) one hundred and fifty thousands Iraqi dinar , 1% one percentage of tender price should be pay as initial insurances according to bank guarantee or approved check issued from any Iraqi bank relied the Central Bank or Iraq. The tender should be contain technical and commercial offers consider that the technical design is part of the technical offer. All the tender should be put in closed envelope in the tender box of the state Company of Iraqi Railways – Headquarter at Baghdad Central railways station – Damascus squar , Baghdad , Iraq.

The closing date will be Sunday 19/ 7 / 2009 12:00 noon Baghdad local time.

IRR is not obliged to accept the lowest prices and the submitted price will be regarded as final prices .

Offers not complying with the general conditions of the tender will be neglected.

Streamliner modelled in O-gauge

David Argent has built an O-scale model of one of the three PC class streamlined pacific locomotives supplied to Iraq by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns in 1941. There was a fourth, 504 Kirkuk, but the ship was sunk en route.

Wikipedia has a lot of information on them. A very detailed article on the locos appeared in Railway Gazette in 1941.

O-gauge model of Iraqi streamlined steam locomotive by David Argent.

Iraqi passenger services in The Times

The Times had a couple of articles about passenger services in Iraq last week.

One is Iraq’s struggle to get railway back on track after neglect and war (14 April 2009). It seems the Baghdad – Dora commuter service is somewhat unsuccessful, but “Against the odds, the minister has reopened a nightly passenger route between Baghdad and Basra. A train also runs every Friday to Samarra, a holy city to the north of the capital, carrying pilgrims to its golden-domed shrine. Last month a weekly service resumed between Baghdad and Fallujah.”

In Taken for a ride in Baghdad… (13 April 2009) the newspaper’s Baghdad Correspondent, Deborah Haynes, decribes how the Ministry of Transport organised a press trip on the commuter train … but something wasn’t quite right about it.