Baghdad now has a commuter train

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Commuters in Baghdad now have a way to avoid all the traffic and the checkpoints on the city's streets.

A commuter rail service that travels 15 miles through Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in the heart of Baghdad is now in operation. A train ride costs the equivalent of 80 cents.

The train leaves Baghdad's main station in the morning and runs north to a mostly-Shiite neighborhood. It then cuts through central Baghdad to a mainly Sunni suburb in the south. It makes a handful of stops.

But transport officials say they're not sure how popular it will be.

AP Television News footage showed just a small number of people riding the train this morning.

Iraq's only major rail line currently runs from Baghdad to the southern city of Basra.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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