Former Amtrak Private Car/Charter Manager Rick Degman is in Iraq, employed by the Department of Defense to help rebuild the Iraqi Republic Railways Company. He is periodically sending photos of his exploits, and On Track On Line is pleased to offer some of them on this site. New photos will be added from time to time, so bookmark this page.
To view larger versions of the images, simply click on the image. Larger images are generally under 40K in size.
These first six photos were taken during a trip to Baiji (or Bayji), located in North-Central Iraq. The train comprised former Saddam train equipment: Henschel/EMD loco 2559, power car, sleeper 277 and a coach that Saddam's guards used to use. The train is shown here at Baiji.
Damaged station sign at Baiji station in early April, 2004.
The old train station in Tikrit is now a private house. Tikrit was a dirt-poor village until Saddam got into power and turned it into one of the wealthiest cities in Iraq.
One of the benefits of Saddam's spending in Tikrit was that it got a new train station.
The Mother of all Tombs. This complex was being built to be Saddam's mother's tomb. The war halted construction, and it is now a U.S. military installation. Note the military vehicles in front and a machine gun emplacement on the structure to the right. Mom doesn't come around here...or anywhere lately, it seems.
The scene of a war-caused derailment in November, 2003. A palace can be seen at the top of the photo by following the track straight to the horizon (ignoring the little kinks through the derailment area.)
One of 30 new diesel locomotives made in the Ukraine to Russian specifications being readied for service.
Close up of the DEM 2803 while being readied for service.
The first two new road switchers before entering service.
Closeup of DES 3801. The average cost of the 30 diesels was $300,000.