By Paul Cotterell; ISBN-13 978-0-905878-04-1; ISBN-10 0-905878-04-3; A4 Hardback; 150 pages of good quality paper; £18.90 GBP.
The metre gauge Jaffa to Jerusalem Railway opened in 1892 and, with the exception of a very short line in what is now Iran, was the first railway anywhere in the Middle East. Further development was slow until the First World War when the British conquered Palestine. In doing so they laid the foundation for a network of lines later taken over and expanded by Israel Railways. Except for the Hedjaz Railway section (covered in a separate volume) this book details the history of all the lines in Palestine and Israel, which ranged from the obscure and ephemeral 600mm and 2ft 6in gauge military railways up to the standard gauge of 4ft 8in, and there is a chapter on little-known industrial lines. Detailed reference is made to locomotives built for Palestine and Israel, as well as to those imported during two world wars for military use. Among the latter were British LSWR and LNWR 0-6-0s, LMS and ROD 2-8-0s. Extensive coverage is given to the passenger and freight rolling stock, much of which also originated in Great Britain. Locomotives and rolling stock captured by Israel in Middle East wars are dealt with too. Nine maps, 169 line drawings, 114 photographs and motive power and passenger stock lists complete the picture. A special feature is the representative selection of timetables. See the Table of Contents.
Emphasis has been placed on primary source material. Wherever possible previously unpublished photographs have been chosen to comprehensively illustrate not only locomotives and rolling stock but also the railway scene in general.
The railways of Palestine and Israel have lived through 'interesting times'. In this book the author shows how closely the history of the railways has been tied to upheavals in the Middle East.
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