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General information

Iraq has an area of around 450000 square kilometer and a population of 38 million people in the Middle-East, neighboring with the I. R. of Iran.

Iraq with 110 b of barrels of oil reservoir is the richest country in the world after Saudi Arabia in the field of oil resources. The amount of the natural gas reservoirs of Iraq is estimated as 110 trillions of cubic feet. Other resources that could be mentioned include Phosphate and Sulphur Rock. Iraq, owing to insufficient access to the open waters during the critical years of war, was able to import and export merely through its neighbor countries, and over the said period performed its major import and export actions via Turkey to Jordan.

Basra, from the historical point of view, is the major and active port of Iraq, is located besides Arvand Rood which became inactivated by invasion of the Allies in the early 1991 and the relevant damages. One of the incentives of Iraq to attack Kuwait was to seize the two islands of Bubiyan and Warbah in order to enhance its access to the open waters; presently, Umm Qasr at the border of Kuwait is the only active port of Iraq in the field of import and export (mainly food stuff and oil) with regard to the investments there.


Current status of IRR

Iraqi Railways Establishment (IRR) is affiliated to the Ministry of Transportation and Communication.

Mr. Salam Jabur Sallom is the Director General of IRR

Total length of IRR is 2032 km, 120 km of which is double-track that connects most parts of the country. Its Head office is located in Baghdad.


Main lines of IRR

Baghdad – Mosul (408 km);

This standard rail line starts from Baghdad alongside Dijla towards north and from Mosul towards northwest at a distance of 116 km from Rabi’eh (border of Syria) and from there it reaches Turkey and Europe that is known as “the eastern fast railway”.

Baghdad – Alqaem;

This newly-built northern Iraq line passes through Fallujah, Ramadi, Hadisa alongside alqaem (northwestern Iraq, border of Iraq and Syria), a branch line of which links Alqaem to Akashat at a distance of 144 km, where is an industrial complex of phosphate in Iraq. The length of this line is around 375 km. This route connects Iraq to the Arabian ports in Syria and Lebanon that are located at the Mediterranean seaboard.

This 461 km rail line, eastern and northeastern Iraq, passes through Baqubah, Jalula and Kirkuk, and ends in Arbil. Also, a branch line connects Jula to Khanaqin.

Branch lines

·         Ghabishia – Basra – Umm Qasr (158 km);

·         Al-Shoaibi – Umm Qasr (56 km);

·         Sabunia – Rabi’eh (100 km);

·         Beiji – Hammam Al alil (156 km);

·         Hadisa – Beiji – Kirkuk (252 km);

·         Mosayeb – Karbala – Samawah, one of the big projects under construction and renovation, will connect the key parts of the middle Furat region, some parts of which are double-track. The operational work of this project commenced in May 2002;

·         Another measurement taken by IRR is to make the remaining routes (such as Baghdad- Babel (100 km)) double-track that is under way.


Main lines in IRR

Iraqi Republic Railways (IRR) has four (4) main standard lines:

  • Baghdad – Baiji – Mosul – Rabieh (524 km):

This standard rail line begins from Baghdad and is extended along Tigris towards Mosul (412 km) where it is extended towards the northwest reaching "Rabieh" at the Syrian border point in 112 km where it is connected to Turkey and Europe, which is known as the "Eastern Rapid Railway".

  • Baghdad- Hella - Diwaniya - Samawah - Nasiriyah - Basra - Umm Qasr (609 km):

This route begins from west of Baghdad and enters Basra passing through Hella, Diwaniya and Nasiriyah. This line is extended towards Umm Qasr.

  • Baghdad – Qaim – Alkashat (520 km):

This line, from the north of Baghdad, through Fallujah, Ramadi, Haqlaniyah is extended to "Qaim" (northwest of Baghdad, located on the border with Syria) that a secondary line of it links Qaim to Alkashat with around 144 km of length, where the Iraqi Phosphate Industry Complex is located. The line connects the Iraq to the Arab ports settled on the Mediterranian banks in Syria and Lebenon.

  • Haqlaniyah – Baiji – Kirkuk (252 km)



The rail link of Iran and Iraq is being studied in the following two directions:

1.      Khorramshahr – Basra (51 km);

2.      Kermanshah – Khosrawi – Khanaqin – Baghdad (266 km).

 Iraq has made negotiations with China, France, Germany, Russia, India, Turkey, etc. about procurement of locomotives, spare parts, and other needed equipment and concluded relevant contracts with them, such as importing 40 locomotives with 12 passenger coaches from China, 30 locos from Russia, 16 locos from Turkey and 440 freight cars and tanks from Algeria, etc. Some of them have been rejected by the UN authorities.

Over the past years it was announced that 30 new locomotives with the speed of 140 km/h imported from China with the related spare parts costing US$60000000.

Iraq attempts by improvement of its political and economical situation while developing and renovating its domestic rail network, to take steps toward expansion and connection of its rail network with the networks of the other countries. In line with this purpose, Iraq has taken little measures and at the border of Syria the preliminary measures have been done for connecting the rail line of Al-talebia of Iraq to Deir Ez Zor in Syria (30 km), which connects the Iraqi ports to the ports in Syria, which could be considered as an example. Also, Iraq intends to link its rail lines to Jordan through Hadisa towards the port of Aqaba, and to carry out the similar measures on the route of Lebanon and I. R. of Iran; but, despite the propaganda, currently except optimizing the domestic lines, Iraq is not capable of fulfilling such important projects, unless the destination countries involve their investments and apply their force in order to carry out these projects.


Key contact details in IRR


Web site of IRR: http://www.scr.gov.iq/english/index.php


Minister: Mr. Baqir Jabr Al-Zubeidi

Email: moft1946@gmail.com

Managing Director: Salam Jabur Sallom

Tel.: (+964) 153 722 26

Email: salamjsalom@yahoo.com


Tel. No. of International Relations (IRR): +96415374384

Fax: 099312607

Special team for IRR: +982166743845


Safety, Training, and Regional Contact Person

Ms. Amel Fadhel Abbas

Tel.: (+964) 7901 67 18 66

Email: media@scr.gov.iq



Organizational structure of IRR



map of IRR

Statistical data of IRR



Name of the Railway (abbr.)



Area of the country (square km)



Population (million persons)



Length of line (km)

Total length: 2138

Double-track: -

Electrified: -


Number of locos






Passenger coaches



Freight cars



Staff (million)



Train – km (million)



Passenger carried (million people)



Passenger – km (million)



Tonnes carried (million)



Tonnes – km (million)



Net ton – km (million)


Source: UIC 2015 Statistics



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