By John Lee.
China's Dongfang Electric Corp. has completed the first of 10 high speed, desert modified diesel trains at a ceremony attended by Iraq's ambassador to China, Railway Gazette reports.
The trains were ordered in 2012, a year after Iraq announced plans for a Basra to Baghdad high speed rail route, an initiative that does not seem to have materialized.
But the ten new trains, capable of 160 km/h, will bring the dream of a regular fast service between Basra and Baghdad closer to reality.
Each "train set" comes with two diesel engines and eight carriages with a capacity of almost 400 passengers and will be run by Iraqi Republic Railways.
Perhaps it is with sensible foresight that in addition to on board fault diagnostic systems, each train has been specially modified to cope with Iraq's notoriously dusty conditions.
(Source: Railway Gazette)