ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – After nearly 12 years, a public train which connects the town of al-Ya’rubiyah (Tel Kocher in Kurdish) to the city of Hasaka in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) will resume service.
One of the most important means of travel for the people of Rojava was the commute on the Dewahi steam train which traveled from Tel Kocher to Hasaka via Qamishlo but stopped working in 2005.
For the past eight months, a lot of work has gone into fixing the damaged tracks and getting the trains running again.
Since then, two trains and several tracks have been repaired and are now functioning.
“We are still experiencing a lot of difficulties despite the trains running again,” Fawaz Mahmoud, a maintenance worker, told Kurdistan 24. “We do not have enough electricity or water.”
“So far, we have fixed the tracks, and two trains are functioning with another one to follow soon, Lord willing,” Mahmoud added, calling on Rojava officials to offer support as the work continues.
Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, a lot of damage was done to the train tracks and station as maintenance and repair were halted.
“We are testing the trains on the tracks which have not run for about six years,” Ahmed Abdel Rahman, another staff at the Dewahi station, said. “There are now 50 kilometers of tracks which have been fixed from here until Tel Kocher.”
There are over 15 train stops from Tel Kocher to Hasaka where thousands of people, from laborers to students, previously used the Dewahi train on a regular basis.
(Additional reporting by Delovan Chato in Qamishlo, Rojava)