First Time Since 2003 That Iraqi Railway Has Been Used
Camp Taji– The railway that leads up to Camp Taji has been unused since 2003. The railroad has been out of commission since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but slowly it recently has been put back into use.
Soldiers working with Iraqi citizens have worked to get the railway back into running shape. The first train let loose a mighty blast from its whistle, and signaled the beginning of the resumption of railroad traffic.
MNF Soldiers have worked with Iraqi forces and members of the community, along with Iraqi contractors to fix broken railroad ties, and to revitalize the railway. “This is a big deal, getting the railroad backing into service is a big step,” said Captain James Kerns. Captain Kerns is assistant Ops officers for BDOC MNF Division, Baghdad.
“We worked to execute and perform this mission so the train can be used to carry goods and personnel,” said Captain Kerns.
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“Having this train in operations is a major piece toward having Iraq as a country back on line,” said Captain Kearns. The railway runs from the Mosul region to Baghdad, but only portions are operational. It is the goal to open the entire route this year.
Putting the train back into operation promises to change the face of that region of Iraq. The train is necessary and vital because up to now the only transportation has been over the roadways, and the roads have been very susceptible to attack from Al Qaeda.