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: [FJGRailroad] Iraq railway

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  • Stephen G. Myers
    Yes it is strange, once again we rebuild a nation that we went to war with but when we look at our own roads, railroads, bridges, and factories, they are in
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2005
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      Yes it is strange, once again we rebuild a nation that we went to war
      with but when we look at our own roads, railroads, bridges, and
      factories, they are in such poor shape. Go figure?



      .
      On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 22:58:08 -0500 "paul larner" <pklarner@...>
      writes:
      >
      > Nothing for Amtrak though; or the electrical distribution
      > infrastructure.
      >
      > PKL
      >
      > >From: "Stephen G. Myers" <Knixrule1@...>
      > >Reply-To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      > >To: FJGRailroad@yahoogroups.com
      > >Subject: [FJGRailroad] Iraq railway
      > >Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 11:42:23 -0500
      > >
      > >On The Road to Reconstruction
      > >U.S. Army spearheads project to help Iraqis repair dilapidated,
      > >war-damaged rail system
      > >
      > >By Walter Weart
      > >
      > >
      > >It’s 7 p.m. in Iraq. First Lieutenant Joseph Wanat answers his cell
      > >phone, ready to fill in a reporter on U.S. efforts to reconstruct
      > the
      > >country’s national railroad. The U.S.-Iraqi war has done more than
      > cause
      > >damage or destruction to hundreds of buildings, homes and roads.
      > >
      > >Combat actions — including bombs thrown by Iraqi insurgents — and
      > years
      > >of neglect have wreaked damage on track, communications and signal
      > >systems, rolling stock and train stations owned by the Iraq
      > Ministry of
      > >Transportation and operated by the Iraq Republican Railroad, Wanat
      > says.
      > >
      > >Attached to the 888 Movement Control Team, a reserve unit from
      > >Providence, R.I., that’s now part of Multi National Force-Iraq,
      > Wanat is
      > >stationed in Baghdad, where his primary assignment is rail
      > operation and
      > >engineering.
      > >
      > >The U.S. Army is heading a $210 million project designed to
      > rehabilitate
      > >Iraq’s rail system and restore it to full operation. It wasn’t so
      > much
      > >damage from bombs, but deferred maintenance, looting and vandalism
      > that
      > >did in the railroad, Wanat says. Economic sanctions against Saddam
      > >Hussein’s regime in the 1990s made it difficult for the Iraqi
      > railroad to
      > >obtain replacement parts, leading to maintenance deferrals.
      > >
      > >“Many kilometers of track have missing ties, no ballast and large
      > gaps
      > >between adjacent track sections,” he says. “[Our] military was very
      > >careful to avoid damaging the lines and only about 10 percent of
      > our
      > >rebuild project [addresses] weapons damage.”
      > >
      > >In a decade-long decline. The U.S.’ project budget includes $57
      > million
      > >for reconstruction work and $153 million for maintenance equipment,
      > >rolling stock and spare parts (which are under solicitation or
      > scheduled
      > >for delivery). Because the Iraqi railroad’s locomotives were
      > produced in
      > >six countries — including China, Turkey and Germany — most spare
      > parts
      > >will be purchased from original suppliers located in those
      > countries.
      > >Rail will be purchased from sources in Poland, the Ukraine and
      > Russia.
      > >
      > >Dating back to 1888, when Germany began building track, the Iraqi
      > >railroad wasn’t always in dire straits. Despite a construction
      > slowdown
      > >during World War I, the road continued to build branch lines until
      > 1987.
      > >However, the railroad’s condition began to deteriorate after the
      > 1991
      > >Gulf War.
      > >
      > >Now, railroad officials are trying to manage operations while Iraq
      > aims
      > >to settle its political future, says Wanat, who has to hang up and
      > get
      > >back to work. Days later, he’s available via phone again. The
      > Iraqis are
      > >attempting to keep 250 locomotives and 2,000 rail cars going, Wanat
      > says.
      > >
      > >Shortly after the U.S.’ initial combat operations ended in May
      > 2003, the
      > >railroad operated about 70 trains per week. However, in spring 2004
      > —
      > >after insurgent gorillas began full-scale operations — weekly
      > trains
      > >dropped to about eight, many of which are used for reconstruction
      > >efforts, he says.
      > >
      > >The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — working with the U.S.-run Iraq
      > Project
      > >and Contracting Office (PCO) — is providing quality assurance and
      > >oversight for the railroad reconstruction, with work being done by
      > Iraqi
      > >firms using Iraqi workers. Some project funding also is coming from
      > the
      > >Iraqi government.
      > >
      > >Overseeing the services, supplies and infrastructure work funded by
      > the
      > >U.S. government’s $18.4 billion Iraqi Relief and Reconstruction
      > Fund, the
      > >PCO is responsible for managing the project, including finances and
      > >assets. A key project aspect is rebuilding 76 stations, including
      > one in
      > >Baghdad, says Wanat, who needs to put down his phone again — duty
      > calls.
      > >A few days later, with time for one more cell phone call, he
      > describes
      > >the condition of the facility in Iraq’s capital. Baghdad Central
      > Train
      > >Station, the Iraqi railroad’s headquarters and largest station, is
      > in
      > >extremely poor shape, Wanat says. The plumbing doesn’t work,
      > there’s no
      > >central heating or air conditioning system, and most of the
      > building’s
      > >doors and windows are broken or missing.
      > >
      > >On the double. The project has another key component, he says.
      > American
      > >and Iraqi forces want to finish double-tracking the railroad’s
      > mainline —
      > >a project the Iraqis began prior to the war. The mainline stretches
      > 1,600
      > >miles south from the Syria-Turkish border to Umn Qasr, the primary
      > port
      > >for marine cargoes.
      > >
      > >“We plan to have the double-track line from Basrah and the Turkish
      > border
      > >in service by 2008 or 2009,” says Wanat, moments before he pushes
      > the
      > >end-call button to finish tending to his day-long duties.
      >
      >
      >
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