Diesel locomotives in Iraq

Some details of the diesel locomotives of Iraqi Republic Railways, and its forerunners.

This listing is inevitably far from complete, so do send me a message if you have any more information or can help to fill in the gaps.

Arabic numbers A guide to reading Arabic numbers can be handy.

IMPORTANT I do not sell spare parts for trains, or bid to supply them. I don’t have any locomotives for sale either. I’m just a railway enthusiast, and these pages are completely unofficial. They are mostly compiled from secondary sources, so I can’t offer any guarantees about accuracy.

Type Quantity built Supplier Details Date supplied


[Loco DHS121]

3, 6, 7

DHS 101-103 Nippon Sharyo 2559-2561 of 1968 (Model DHL40TBB)

DHS 111-113 Nippon Sharyo 3095-3097 of 1974 (Model DHL50TBB)

DHS 121-127 Nippon Sharyo ?-? of 1982

40 tonne flame-proof diesel-hydraulic B-B, GM 608PS engine 1968-1982

DHS 131 – 144


14 Tülomsas, Turkey Type DH10000, 1050 hp diesel-hydraulic Bo-Bo 6 in 2002,
2 in 2003 (before the war)
6 held in Eskisehir until after the war and delivered in late 2003/January 2004.
One written off in accident; locos in Iraq during war were damaged by looters:
one of the first locomotives to be delivered was stripped of all the smaller items. Sand then got into the engine, transmission, cooling system and hydrostatic system. I think it was towed back to Turkey to be completely overhauled.

DHL 151-162

[Loco DHL 161]

Photo: Mark W Hemphill

12 Tülomsas, Turkey Type DH12000, 1200 bhp diesel-hydraulic Bo-Bo. Common profile with DH10000 (DHS131) December 2004 – March 2005

501 – 502

[500 Loco]

Photo: Railway Gazette International

Colour picture in Czech factory.
Photo: Vladislav Borek

2 CKD type BN 150, nos.5398-9 0-4-0
Output 150 HP, top speed 40 km/h

Similar to Czech T211.0. Also
exported to China, Bulgaria, Germany, USSR, Poland, Romania, Egypt, Albania and India.


DEM 2001 – 2020

[Loco DEM2007]

Photo: Railway Gazette International


DEM2001-2010 CKD 5657-5666 of 1963

DEM2011-2020 CKD 5802-5811 of 1964

Co-Co. 2016-2020 120km/h, others 100km/h.

Similar to Czech T678.0 freight and T679.0 passenger locos.

1963. OOU by before 1991 Gulf War. Last reported in service in 1975.

DEM 2101 – 2105

[Loco 2101]

Photo:Basil Roberts, 1967-03-13, Restoration & Archiving Trust

5 Alco 3416-01 to 05 of 1965 Co-Co DL500D 1965

DEM 2201 – 2220

[Loco 2201]

5 Brissonneau et Lotz and MTE

DEM2201-2213 15/69-01 to 13 of 1970

DEM 2214-2220 BetL 15/69-14 to 20 of 1971

B-B, BB67000 type 1971

DEM 2301 – 2361

[DEM 2301]


61 MLW Co-Co MXS620 1975-77. Now out of service.

DEM 2401 – 2454

[Loco DEM2410]

Photo: Rick Degman, World Diesel Loco

54 Macosa J26CW/AC EMD 16-645E engine 2200hp diesel-electric 1981. Only work on western lines, owing to weight. All are out of service (Feb 2004).

DEM 2501 – 2582

[Loco DEM2502]

Photo: Railway Gazette International

More photos: GM Export pages

82 Thyssen-Henschel/EMD JT22CW 12-645E3B engine 2250 hp. Passenger locos, 120km/h.
2559-2561 were formerly dedicated to Saddam Hussein’s private train

? 26xx

? ? There seems to be a gap in the number series here – did this class exist? ?

DEM 2701 – 2750

[Loco DEM2703]

Photo:Mike Jackson

50 Dalian Locomotive works, China Co-Co DF10FI. 1840 kW, 140 km/h. 2002

DEM 2801 – 2830


Photo:Rick Degman

30, ordered under the UN Oil For Food Program Lugansk Locomotive Works, Ukraine, (with Russian-made power plant)

Co-Co. 2630hp, 24-26GD-T2 diesel generator, V12 four stroke engine. Max speed 140km/h. UIC 505-3 loading gauge.

Manufacturer’s description.

the body of a TE109, the front ends of a M62 and the roof fixtures of a 2TE121 according to a 2004-01-02 posting on www.drehscheibe-online.de Auslandsforum, quoting Russian magazine Lokotrans.

News report about commissioning.

Photos of DEM2815

February 2004

DES 3001 – 3036

[Loco DES3003]

Photo: Vladislav Borek


DES 3006-3008 CKD 5734-5736 of 1963

DES 3009-3022 CKD 7723-7736 of 1969

DES 3023-3034 CKD 8469-8480 of 1973

DES 3035-3036 CKD 8801-8802 of 1973


Similar Czech locos

Similar Czech locos

First eight 1961-62, 464 kW, similar to CSD T435.0 (class 720) and USSR ChME2001/002. 750 HP diesel electric Bo-Bo

Others 1970-73, similar to CSD T458.1 (class 721) and remainder of ChME2

DES 3101 – 3200

[DES3100 class loco]

Photo: Rick Degman, World Diesel Loco

100 CKD. More details of these locos, a tropicalised variant of the T669.0 Co-Co 1979-82

DES 3301-06


Rick Degman/On Track On Line

6 Bryansk Locomotive Works, Russia TEM18 Delivery 2003/2004

DEM 4001 – 4011
DEM 4101 – 4161

[Loco DES4107]

Photo: Railway Gazette International
Locopage.net has photos and details of testing.
More photos

72 Francorail Alco 16 cylinder 251F 3600hp Co-Co CSE 26-21. 61 for freight (110 km/h), 11 for passenger (150 km/h).
Article and drawing Railway Gazette International May 1982 p366
36.3m dinar order May 1980. Delivery from June 1982
Used by the Grain Board
At least 7 Unilok Shunters 2 ordered in 1982, when 5 were already in use
[Jenbacher shunter on quayside]
At least 2 Jenbacher DH200B26, 4-wheel shunter ?
Al-Quaim Cement
[Loco hauling a contractor's ballast train on the Baghdad - Akashat line] Photo: Railway Gazette International
3 Faur? LDH125. Similar to a Romanian class 69 1982-1983

Railfan Europe loco lists and photos.

Other Faur (U23Aug) locomotives exported to Iraq:
40 in 1975 of model group L25H, LDH25, DH30M, LDH30 (see note*)
2 in 1975 of Model L45H, exported to Samawah Cement in Iraq

*40 small shunting tractors seems rather many to me, but that is what Faur reference list from 1985 says. The models given above are grouped together, but I do not know whether one or more models were included in exports to Iraq.
Eljas Pölhö

Thanks to Nick Lawford for information on eastern European diesels, and Jean-Patrick Charrey at Trains of Turkey for the DHS131.

Gordon Mott reports in December 2003: “The Chinese-built 2700’s are the current mainstay of the mainline fleet, though they are not particularly well-liked by their crews. The popular favorites are the EMD/Henschel 2500’s, including 2559 which was one of three (2559-2561) which were exclusively dedicated to Saddam Hussein’s private train — thus they are VERY low-mileage! The 2343 is one of very few (only three that I know of, all in Mosul) MLW units still operational. There may be the odd EMD/Macosa unit operational somewhere, possibly Samawah, and a small number of heavy-haul Francorails are, or soon will be, operational to haul phosphate to the fertilizer plant at Al Qaim when it reopens.

Mark W. Hemphill, Deputy Senior Consultant for Railways writes (June 2005) On the locomotive side, the 2800s (Chinese) are the backbone of the fleet. A few Henschels are running, too, and perhaps a few Macosas and MLWs. All of the Francorails are out of service and I doubt they will ever come back. None of the new Russian locomotives are running.

  • In 1956 the decision was taken to adopt diesel-electric traction for future requirements. (Middle East Railways, Hughes)
  • Of the 382 locos mentioned in Railway Directory, only around 20 were working, Railway Gazette International reported in February 2000.
  • DES3100 class diesel locos of 810kW were supplied to Iraq by Russia [? they were built in Czechoslovakia] in 1979-82.(Railway Gazette December 2000, reporting that Czech company CKD Dopravni was supplying spare
    electrical parts worth US$675 000 to Energomachexport of Russia for the locos).
  • Dalian Locomotive Plant in China has supplied 50 DF10FI diesel locos to Iraqi Republic Railways; rated at 1840kW, the locos can run at up to 140km/h. (Railway Gazette May 2002)

[Diesel locomotive]

This locomotive is being aligned on its tracks in Umm Qasr, which is the end of the rail line in the southeast, and it’s just one of the ways we’ll move supplies north toward An Nasiriyah and beyond. The coalition plan for combat operations deliberately avoided infrastructure like the rail system to ensure that they would be ready for use as quickly as possible after we were able to make assessments of their condition. Brigadier General Vincent Brooks CENTCOM Operation Iraqi Freedom Briefing 2003-04-12.

Overview of The Basra to Umm Qasr Railway Network (34KB Word document) by the Royal Logistic Corps, dated 2003-04-23: Two German shunting engines have been located and after some minor repair have been restored to working order. [Presumably these are the Jenbacher (actually Austrian) locos.] A Garret (Canadian) main line engine was found near the UMM QASR train station but was not in working order. [What is this?]
In BASRA station, nine mainline engines were found. Three engines are of Chinese manufacture, are only 18 months old and are in an excellent state of repair. The other six engines are of mixed origin (German, Canadian, Japanese and Czech) but the local workers have stated that five of them are either in working order or could be working with minimal repair.

A report by Robert Fisk in The Independent of 2003-12-13 has two photographs showing at least six DEM2700 locos at Baghdad, and what might be a DHS100. It refers to “a trashyard of older, smashed Canadian and German diesels and dirty French and Polish carriages of the Saddam era.”


  • Niklas Bygdestam writes: looking at the pictures of the locomotives you have in your website … Russian SA3 couplings on the locomotives, the standard model in Russia.
  • According to Lugansk, the DEM2800 has automatic central buffer coupling of the type LAF 1758-1 “U” … The coupler is compatible with the UIC and SA-3 couplers.

5 thoughts on “Diesel locomotives in Iraq

  1. Andrew,

    This is very interesting.
    I am currently downsizing my vaste railway info collection. I have a 58 page Operating Manual for the DES 3100-3200 locomotives. Would you like to make me an offer?


  2. Dear Sir/Madam
    Circa 1980, I was allowed to drive a newly constructed diesel locomotive along a short test rack, at the Brush Electrical Machines factory in Loughborough.
    As I recall, this locomotive was in a maroon coloured livery and it was destined for Iraq.
    I should like to hear from anyone who might be able to throw a little more light regarding this machine.

  3. The German locomotive Henschel DEM (Dیzel.ketrk.min Line)
    With engine running on diesel fuel Cylinders V12 cylinder two-stroke. Work on the main lines entered service in Iraq in 1982 and so far
    لقاطرة الالمانية هنشل DEM (دیزل.الكترك.مين لاين )
    ذو محرك يعمل على وقود الديزل عدد الاسطوانات V12 سلندر ثنائي الاشواط. تعمل على الخطوط الرئيسية دخلت الخدمة في العراق عام 1982 ولحد الان

  4. German Henschel locomotive D.E.M
    Number of pistons 12
    v Type
    Two-stroke. Diesel
    Entered service work in Iraq in 1982لقاطرة الالمانية هنشل
    DEM (دیزل.الكترك.مين لاين )
    ذو محرك يعمل على وقود الديزل عدد الاسطوانات V12 سلندر ثنائي الاشواط. تعمل على الخطوط الرئيسية دخلت الخدمة في العراق عام 1982 ولحد الان

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.