A passenger train arrived from the capital in Falluja’s renovated railway station on 9 February, the first such service since 2003.

Iraqi transport officials say the 45-kilometre line will initially provide passenger trains alone, but a cargo service will be phased in over the coming weeks.

Baghdad is close to completing repairs on the rest of its minerals railway in the west of the country, with the line to Falluja the first section to reopen.

In the coming weeks Iraq’s rail authorities hope to open a further section of the line into the western Al-Anbar province, linking some of the country’s critical industrial sites to the capital (MEED 2:2:08).