Monday, 27 February 2012

The Railways of Cyprus (for Dick and for Terry)
During our nine days in Cyprus we saw no evidence of railways and were quite ready to accept that there had never been a railway system on the island.
However on the day we spent touring some of the villages  our last port of call was Kalvasos.  The area around the town had been the centre of copper mining and the ore was carried down the valley on a narrow gauge railway. In a park on the edge of the village one train has been preserved crossing a river bridge.
On further enquiry we found that a railway system did exist on the island from 1905-1951 during which time it carried 7,343,643 passengers and 3,199,934 tons of freight.  I don't know who collated these figures but they seem very precise.
The network was 76 miles long with 39 stations and halts and operated on a 2'6" gauge. Rolling stock comprised 12 locos, 17 coaches and 100 waggons.
Is it a co-incidence that The Fat Controller  stopped numbering his locos around 11 or 12?

The freight was mostly timber from the Troodos mountains but also carried mail and, during WWII, most of the 50,000 Jewish internees held on the island.
Although Famagusta and Nicosia were on the network it never extended to Limassol.
For the anoraks amongst you there are photographs available at-
Photo Archive of Cyprus Government Railway

  Compare the Google map 
of Cyprus and the Wiki map of Sodor which I have inverted. Is there a resemblance or am I clutching at straws?

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