Welcome to Rainer's
Overland Mail Baghdad Haifa Pages

The Overland Mail Routes


The Route of the Overland Mail had initially be from Baghdad to Haifa, however, due to certain reasons (Political interest, Civil unrest) the routes have changes over the time and this page tries to explain the routes, give a time line when they have been in use and the reasons for the change.

I am still experimenting how to present the different routes and its details.




Used for Mail Transport by...




Until October 1928 - Nairn Transport Company. In October 1928 the 5 year contract with the Iraqi Post expired and has not been renewed.

Original (First) Route from Baghdad - Ramadi - Ruthba - Damascus - Beirut and further by Rail to Haifa - Kantara - Port Said

From December 1928 - December 1930 - Haim A. Nathaniel Transport Company


From 1931: Nairn Transport Company No firm evidence but Nairn introduced new buses in 1931 with inscription "Overland Desert Mail"
1925 April 1926 Nairn Transport Company The First Detour. Route diverted to Amman Jerusalem due to unsettled conditions in Syria (Druze revolt).
April 1926 December 1926 Nairn Transport Company After April, the Nairns used the more northerly route Baghdad - Deir Es Zor- Palmyra··- Damascus until the end of the Druze revolt.
1929   Nairn Transport Company The French Route: Now called Syro-Iraq Transdesert Service or Service Transdesertique Syro - Iraquien.  Original (First) Route from Baghdad - Ramadi - Ruthba - Damascus - Beirut and further by Rail to Haifa - Kantara - Port Said


Assumed Nairn Transport Company

Second Route used by British Authorities from Baghdad - Ramadi - Ruthba - Mafraq - Amman - Jerusalem and further by Rail to Lydda - Kantara - Port Said

30 June 1932   Nairn Transport Company Second Detour, Jerusalem - Amman - Baghdad, same Route as during the Druze rebellion.

In 1934, 2 Routes operated in parallel. The British Route via Jerusalem - Amman - Baghdad and the French Route from Damascus to Baghdad, apparently both served by the Nairn Transport Company 

Here a simple map, showing the routes used during the Druze Rebellion.


International Mail Connections:

From/To Port Said: by P & O Liners to Marseilles

From/To Damascus: By Rail via Aleppo to Turkey

From/To Beirut: By Messageries Maritimes liners from Beirut to Marseilles.


A Road Map dated 1926 issued by Public Works Department of Iraq indicating the Nairn Transport Company and Eastern Transport Company as the company was called later on as well. Also the Air Furrows used by the British R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) are indicated. Unfortunately i only have a poor scan/photo of that map and would appreciate a large size scan.


Source: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13602365.2016.1179662