Built by the Brits
Century-old Hindiyah Bridge, once a railway track, now a pilgrims path
SADDAT AL-HINDIYAH, BABYLON, January 25th — The railway bridge connecting Babylon and Karbala remains a prominent fixture nearly a century after its construction. Built in the mid-1930s by a British company during the reign of King Faisal I, the bridge symbolized a significant milestone in the country’s urban development at the time.
The bridge was originally constructed as an alternative route for the train tracks that passed over the Hindiyah Barrage. It was rerouted due to cracks in the barrage’s walls, allowing the train to pass through the center of the city and then onto Karbala over the Euphrates River.
Jameel Razeen, a retired teacher, shared with 964media: “The bridge was exclusively designed for the railway, spanning nearly a kilometer. It represents a part of the train track that starts from Saddat al-Hindiyah and extends to Karbala. The British designed it professionally, marking a qualitative leap in the country’s urban field. It is one of three bridges built in the area but is the most aesthetically pleasing.”
The bridge initially facilitated the transportation of pilgrims and goods between Babylon and Karbala, considering that Saddat al-Hindiyah was one of the main commercial cities at the time.
Mohammed Al-Masoudi, a resident of Saddat al-Hindiyah, recalled, “Near the track, there was an English camp, along with a police station to ensure the train’s protection when passing through.”
Today, locals know it as the “Bridge of Abu al-Tafairat” due to the way citizens previously crossed it by jumping between the wooden planks supporting the railway. Now, the gaps have been filled with wooden boards, allowing it to serve as a crossing point between the riverbanks, as well as for visitors during the Arbaeen pilgrimage.