Central Baghdad Station
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Baghdad’s commuter train

Central Baghdad Station
The train that began running through the Iraqi capital about a month ago is an experiment in urban renewal. “If this succeeds, I think they’ll open more lines inside Baghdad,” says Thafir Salim, the engineer on the route. (Saad Khalaf / Los Angeles Times)
Passengers on Baghdad Metro
Passengers watch the city go by from the windows of the Baghdad Metro. The trip offers a close-up view of the upended lives of Iraqis since the war. (Saad Khalaf / Los Angeles Times)
Baghdad train engineer
Train engineer Thafir Salim keeps a careful eye on the track as the Baghdad train heads out of the Dora market area, where vendor stalls are set up near the route. (Saad Khalaf / Los Angeles Times)
Sheep near Baghdad tracks
Sheep herders on the edge of Baghdad keep their flock off the tracks as the Baghdad train rolls by. (Saad Khalaf / Los Angeles Times)
Passenger, Baghdad train
A passenger makes her way off the Baghdad train after it pulls into a station. The train makes two round-trip journeys a day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. (Saad Khalaf / Los Angeles Times)
Calling for train riders
Railroad employee Salim Jassem tries to lure commuters away from taxis as the train waits to depart from the Dora station in southern Baghdad. “It’s beautiful, but it’s slow,” says Mohammed Ali, a first-time rider. “I think it’s more secure than the taxis. What’s good here is there are no checkpoints, no traffic, no explosions.” (Saad Khalaf / Los Angeles Times)