Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Basrah Railroad Station Vital to a Growing Region and Economy

By A. Al Bahrani
Gulf Region South District

BASRAH, Iraq - The rehabilitation of the Basrah Railway Station is one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Gulf Region South (GRS) District efforts to build and develop the basic services and strategic infrastructure for Iraq.

"The $480,000 project provides a critical link for the country of Iraq and it ties the southern portion of the country with the northern portion," said GRS Chief of Engineering and Construction Thomas Eidson.

"The Iraq railroad system provides efficient reliable transportation and many people rely on the railroad for traveling. It is also critical for trade and commerce from the deep-water marine port and business centers in southern Iraq to the population centers in northern Iraq," stated Edison.

Stanley Dowdy, Basrah Area Office Resident Engineer, said "The railroad station was unusable without renovation. The platforms for getting on and off the trains and the walkways were all torn up or removed and the building structure itself was damaged and unsafe. This project installed all new platforms and walkways as well as renovating portions of the interior and the exterior façade.

"These improvements will greatly facilitate enhanced operations at this site," he added. "We applaud the Iraqi team with whom we have closely worked in making this challenge become a reality."

"The Corps’ mission for this project consists of performing onsite evaluations and rehabilitation work of seven railway stations throughout the Basrah Province. The goal of the project is to repair the stations and make them safe and efficient once again," said Dowdy.

"Now, as reconstruction is gaining momentum, the need for a transportation network to provide for efficient movement of essential products such as construction materials, equipment, merchandise, fuel and other supplies is essential for Iraq," said Hadi Mashkor, the directorate general for Basrah Railroad Station.

"The Ministry of Transportation is responsible for the railway sector in Iraq," said Mashkor. "Iraq has a network of 2,603 km and the main railway routes are Um-Qasr/Basrah - Baghdad, Baghdad –Husaiba (Syrian border), and the remaining branches to Kirkuk and Akashat," said Mashkor.

According to Mashkor, rebuilding the rail industry in Basrah is very important to Iraq’s economy. Basrah is one of the oldest cities in Iraq and it is in the heart of the petroleum industry and directly impacts the Iraqi economy.

"Being able to transport goods and services is vital to a growing region and economy. The railroad system will continue to grow in serving the Iraqi people," said Eidson.

Photo - The $480,000 Basrah Railroad Station project by the Gulf Region South provided for several areas to be renovated to include the new main entrance to the station. USACE photo by Al Bahrani.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Source: CENTCOM has updated their sourcing and in their process, they inadvertantly lost this one. Thank you for your understanding.

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