Basra Light Railway, Mesopotamia

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Basra Light Railway, Mesopotamia

Hughes in his book [1] records that:-

This 2ft gauge system was commenced in December 1916 for reclamation and flood protection schemes but the importance of Basra as a supply depot increased until in 1918 there were 22 miles of track in operation. The original 18lb rails proved too light for the locomotives ('received from India') and were replaced by 24lb rails. An official account stated that 'the locomotives were of many kinds and of varying conditions of fitness and power, ranging from new 50HP six-coupled engines to very old 12HP four-coupled engines'. In 1918 it was reported that 'steam locomotives have to a very great extent been replaced by six 40 horse-power Petrol Motors weighing 6 tons each; they are most efficient and economical in service.' Unfortunately no further details of this stock have surfaced either in India or the Middle East.

See Also


  1. “Indian Narrow Gauge Locomotives 1863-1940” by Hugh Hughes, published by ‘The Continental Railway Circle’ Paragraph 39B Page 84