Friday, February 19, 2010

Working On The Railroad In Iraq

Iraq’s international railroad network is expanding again.

Earlier in the month, Iran announced plans to link their southern city Khorramshahr and the Iraqi port Basra with about 35 miles of newly built railway. Now according to the BBC, a rail-link between Iraq and Turkey has been opened for the first time since the 1980’s.

The journey between Gazientep, Turkey and Mosul, Iraq takes about 18 hours. German workers originally built the route almost a century ago as part of a plan to link Baghdad and Berlin by rail. Iraq’s war with Iran in the 1980’s damaged the line to the point where it needed to be closed, while Turkish conflicts with Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq kept them from investing in repairs to the route. But in recent years trade between Turkey and Iraq, particularly the Kurdish northern region that abuts Turkey, has turned into a multi-billion dollar business, and has led to a reopening of the railroad.

Turkey now has plans to expand their network of high-speed passenger trains to include the Gazientep-to-Mosul route.
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