In Rudaw

Mosul’s train station remains in ruins, despite government promises

Mosul’s once bustling train station that transported people to Baghdad and beyond now rests as a de facto graveyard for rusting iron and overturned train wagons.

Wheels came to a stop when the Islamic State (ISIS) group took control of the area in 2014, later using the station as a hideout.

By the time Iraqi forces retook the country’s second city in 2017, irreparable damage had devastated the station’s facilities, with the main building bombed and many train tracks pulled from the ground.

The Iraqi government pledged to rebuild and salvage what is left of the dilapidated station last year, but no work on the facility has begun to date.

In a city that largely remains in ruins from the battle to reconquer the city, the railway is hardly the only structure to be rebuilt.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have filed claims with the government, seeking compensation for property destroyed in the fight.

Mosul’s fraught local politics, compounded with Iraq’s bureaucracy and corruption that has leached off reconstruction funds, has largely been blamed for the slow progress in resuscitating the city’s structures.

Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic, combined with plummeting oil prices, has rendered the Iraqi government in a state of struggle to break even through monthly revenue, let alone rebuild.

Originally built in 1938, Mosul’s train station is located in the older area of the city. The station’s first train trip was to Baghdad, and was later followed by travel to Syria and Turkey in the following years.

The Germans and Ottomans had planned on using Mosul’s train station in plans for the Bagdadbahn – a line that would have linked Berlin with Baghdad and Kuwait.

The use of the station was slowed following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein, as well as when Iraq was under UN sanctions in the 1990s.

The railway’s traffic stopped during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, restarted operations following the failure of the regime. Source