The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal

Informed but opinionated commentary and analysis on urban transportation topics from the Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.

Our Mission: Monkeywrench the Anti-Transit Forces

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Home of So Few Transit Links Than You can Possibly Check(tm), Unless you have no life other than websurfing

Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds. Einstein

IMPORTANT NOTE: FOC's ("Friends of the Cabal") (you know, like "FOB's"--"Friends of Bill" [Clinton]) have now all been promoted to "Adjuct Scholars" of The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal. You know, like Wendell Cox, Randal O'Toole, et al are "Adjunct Scholars" (sic) to the Reason Foundation, the Buckeye Institute, the Cascade Policy Institute, and 500+ other conservative/libertarian "Think (sic) Tanks". Congratulations, Dudes!

From the Cabalmaster:

Just when you thought we here at The Secret Worldwide Transit Cabal had given up on “secret subway” stories!

Your Favorite Transit Pundits are pleased and proud to bring you the FIRST news (unless someone else reported this before we did!) about the mysterious Baghdad Metro (aka “Saddam’s Secret Subway”) to appear since the start of “Gulf War II” early in 2003.

This we found on the Iraqi Press Monitor, produced by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (, London.

The news item, dated February 24, 2004, is here

“Metro back on track

“(Al-Mashriq) – The Ministry of Transportation will resume construction of the Baghdad metro next October to help solve the current problem of traffic jams in the capital. Minister of Transport Behnam Zia Paulis said the project will cost $1.2 billion and will be finished in four years by specialist international firms. The metro project was delayed due to wars conducted by the former regime. The project is supposed to link the capital's suburbs with the city centre.

“(Al-Mashriq is published daily by Al-Mashriq Institution for Media and Cultural Investments.)”

And remember: you saw it first right here on our blog (unless you read Arabic, or follow the Iraqi Press Monitor site)

The full story is not yet clear, but the following can be documented by online sources. Design work for Baghdad subway stations was carried out by “Parsons in Iraq” This occurred during the early 1980s. The project was one of several infrastructure facilities that Saddam promised following the end of the Iran-Iraq War. A Brazilian contractor was among those working on construction when they were rudely interrupted by the start of Gulf War I. Thereafter, the project could not be completed owing to the economic impact of postwar sanctions, and was eventually cancelled. The project was later revived, apparently at the end of the 1990s, only to be interrupted again by the “run up” to Gulf War II. Still awaited: a description of what was completed, and the extent to which this was converted to “non-civilian” (= “military”) use.

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