Lebanon’s railway was 400 km long. It connected Beirut to Damascus and Haifa. Unfortunately, the train stations have been abandoned because of the Lebanese Civil War.
The system was built in the 1890s by a French company when Lebanon was under the Ottoman rule. Today, there is nothing left but station buildings and trains in ruins.
In 1895, Beirut was connected to Damascus. The railway track became part of the Hejaz line which ran from Syria’s capital to Medina, Saudi Arabia.
In 1942, troops from Australia and New Zealand built the railways along the coastal line from Naqoura to Tripoli.
Lebanon had train tunnels, snow shed tunnels, train bridges, and different types of stations.
The trains survived World War I and World War II but not the Lebanese Civil War which marked the end of the railway’s heyday.
The Lebanese NGO Train/Train is calling the authorities to revive the railways which will lead to a significant decrease in traffic.
Reviving the railway on the coast could be beneficial for those who live in the north, such as Tripoli, and work in Beirut since they can avoid traffic.
Ironically, people who worked in this industry are still getting paid.
People often visit the abandoned stations to learn about the past and take artsy pictures.
Lebanon misses the trains’ whistles!
Will we ever hear them?