Sunday, September 14, 2008

One Stop On The Orient Express

We visited the Baghdad railway station yesterday, which as my history buff partner pointed out was on the old Orient Express line at one time. I was trying to picture Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman and Sean Connery (1974 film) rolling into the dusty and neglected station. I don't think they would have been all that pleased.

We spent an few hours walking around the rail yards looking at the various trains and cars. Some of the locomotives were Chinese-made, the passenger cars were Turkish, and Sadam's personal car was French-made, complete with kitchen, conference room and bedroom. Everything was coated in dust and stifling hot inside as the air conditioning wasn't functioning. The correspondent doing the story had to flee from inside the car at one point to change his shirt as he was covered in sweat.

My father is a model railroad enthusiast and I wished that he could have walked around with me, feeling certain that he would have seen things of great interest that I had missed. Even my partner, who is something of a train buff as well, was impressed by the historical significance of the station and the yard.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/15/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Long-time RN said...

Standing in a Salzburg, Austria train station in 1976, I had to make a hurried decision to board one of two trains, one to Italy, or the Orient Express to Hungary. Being a single female travelling alone at that moment, I chose the safer route to Italy. Told myself I'd get back to Europe one day and take a ride on the marvelous train. In 1977, I believe,the Orient Express ended European runs. A missed opportunity, but life is full of those! Was the wisest, safest choice at the time, although those Italian men sure lived up to their reputation!

Cathy B