Iraq-Turkey rail link re-opens

17 February 2010

First train in decades departed Mosul on 16 February

The railway linking Iraq and Turkey has re-opened, with the first passenger service in decades leaving Mosul on 16 February.

The train will take 18 hours to travel a distance of 500 kilometres, travelling through Syria before arriving at the Turkish city of Gazientep, according to the BBC.

Germany began building the Berlin to Baghdad railway a century ago aiming to open up a direct route to the Gulf through Turkey.

However, the recent conflicts in Iraq has meant that there has been no regular service on the railway since the 1980s.

Both Turkey and Iraq are currently developing their national railway networks with Turkey now considering plans to build a high-speed rail link to Pakistan.

In January, MEED reported that Iraq is expected to invite foreign companies to bid for a contract to build a $3bn rail network in the capital Baghdad as it tries to improve its freight and passenger connections (MEED 25:01:10).

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