12 Facts About Baghdad railway


The last stretch to Baghdad railway was built in the late 1930s and the first train to travel from Istanbul to Baghdad railway departed in 1940.

FactSnippet No. 534,153

Railway threatened Russia, since it was accepted as axiomatic that political influence followed economic, and the Baghdad railway was expected to extend Germany's economic influence towards the Caucasian frontier and into north Persia where Russia had a dominant share of the market.

FactSnippet No. 534,154

Process of constructing a rail line from Constantinople to Baghdad began during 1888 when Alfred von Kaulla, manager of Wurttembergische Vereinsbank, and Georg von Siemens, Managing Director of Deutsche Bank, created a syndicate and obtained a concession from Turkish leaders to extend the Haydarpasa – Izmit railway to Ankara.

FactSnippet No. 534,155

Mersin–Yenice–Adana line existed prior to the construction of the Bagdad Baghdad railway and was used for the latter in its Yenice–Adana section.

FactSnippet No. 534,156

In 1911 the Baghdad railway company looked to build a branch line to Alexandretta from Aleppo to pick up on the valuable trade of Northern Syria and the Northern Mesopotamian valley.

FactSnippet No. 534,157

Russians opposed the Baghdad railway, being concerned about the territories in the Caucasus.

FactSnippet No. 534,158

Russian support for the Baghdad railway was only achieved in 1910, when in a meeting between Tsar Nicholas II and the German Emperor Wilhelm II, the German Emperor assured the Tsar that no lines were planned into Kurdish or Armenian areas.

FactSnippet No. 534,159

Regardless of diplomacy, financing and agreements, and later points of view, the existence of the Baghdad railway would have created a threat to British dominance over German trade, as it would have given German industry access to oil, and a port in the Persian Gulf.

FactSnippet No. 534,160

Thus the potential consequences to Anglo-German economic rivalry in oil and trade by the existence of the Baghdad railway, were ultimately addressed by ownership and outright control, rather than by agreement.

FactSnippet No. 534,161

Additionally, there were three mountains which the Baghdad railway was going to go through, but the tunnels through these three mountains were not complete.

FactSnippet No. 534,162

Breaks in the Baghdad railway meant that the Ottoman government had significant difficulties in sending supplies and reinforcements to the Mesopotamian Front.

FactSnippet No. 534,163

On 15 July 1940 the railway had been completed, and two days later the Taurus Express made its first complete journey between Istanbul and Baghdad.

FactSnippet No. 534,164