|Train being turned in the Jerusalem train station (circa 1900)|
These pictures come from the Library of Congress' American Colony collection.
The rail system in the Holy Land was also a hodgepodge of different rail widths. The original rail to Jerusalem was 1 meter wide. Some rail lines from Cairo were standard gauge (1.435 meter); others were part of the Hejaz railroad (1.050 meter). And during Britain's campaign in Palestine against the Turks they introduced temporary narrow gauge (600 mm) rail lines from Jaffa and between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
|Narrow gauge line in Jaffa, built on |
a wider road bed. Jews were expelled
from Jaffa by the Turks in World War I
and rails were removed for use in the
Turkish war effort. This picture, therefore,
is almost certainly taken soon after the war.
|Australian army engineers in two |
light locomotives near Jerusalem (1918)
As the British pushed the Turks out of Palestine they rebuilt the rail lines destroyed by the Turks. In the case of the "temporary" Jerusalem-Ramallah line, they used narrow gauge rails. By 1920 they had rebuilt the Jaffa-Jerusalem line with standard gauge.
The re-dedication of the line was celebrated by the British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel who apparently drove the locomotive between Jaffa and Lod.
|British High Commissioner Sir |
Herbert Samuel driving in the last
spike in Jaffa (1920)
|Military, temporary light train between |
Jerusalem and Ramallah, near the
Tomb of the Judges and view here (1918)
|Samuel at the controls of the train|
opening the Jaffa-Jerusalem route
(October 5, 1920)
|Samuel responding to the crowds lining the train route|
|The Library of Congress captions this picture "A crowd of |
men and women" and dates it as between 1925 and 1946. It
is almost certainly Samuel's dedication, probably at Lod,
in 1920. (All pictures are from the Library of Congress)
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