The International Steam Pages


The Railways of Lebanon, May 20th - 24th 2016
Standard Gauge Locomotives

Thomas Kautzor writes of an often forgotten railway system, yet another victim of political instability in the region.

Together with Torsten Schneider, in May 2016 I visited Lebanon to look at what remains of the railway network. In 1961, the four lines in the country, were reorganized into the ‘Chemins de fer de l’Etat Libanais’ (CEL). For more details, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_in_Lebanon.

There are over 100 pictures so the report has been subdivided as follows:


The following tables list CEL’s standard gauge motive power and their present status:

Class/ No. CEL

Type

Builder

Constr. No.

Year

Notes / Origin

H 1

0-6-0

Wiener Neustadt

4437

1902

H 2

0-6-0

Wiener Neustadt

4438

1902

H 3

0-6-0

Wiener Neustadt

4439

1902

H 5

0-6-0

Wiener Neustadt

4441

1902

H 6

0-6-0

Wiener Neustadt

4442

1902

G 21

0-8-0

Cail

2735

1906

Tripoli yard 5/16

G 22

0-8-0

Cail

2736

1906

G 23

0-8-0

Cail

2737

1906

G 24

0-8-0

Cail

2738

1906

G 25

0-8-0

Cail

2739

1906

G 26

0-8-0

Cail

2740

1906

G 27

0-8-0

Cail

2741

1906

Rayak behind shed 5/16

G 28

0-8-0

Cail

2742

1906

G 29

0-8-0

Cail

2743

1906

G 30

0-8-0

Cail

2744

1906

G 31

0-8-0

Cail

2745

1906

Tripoli yard 5/16

G 32

0-8-0

Cail

2746

1906

G 33

0-8-0

Cail

2747

1906

G 34

0-8-0

Cail

2748

1906

Rayak next to works 5/16

G 35

0-8-0

Cail

2749

1906

21 27 31 34

101

0-8-0

Vulcan

2548

1909

ex DHP 803, 1939 ex Est 4810, ex KPEV G8 'Stettin 4812'

*

102

0-8-0

Henschel

11449

1912

ex DHP 827, 1939 ex Nord 4583, ex KPEV G8 'Mainz 4818'

Tripoli shed 5/16

103

0-8-0

Vulcan

2522

1909

ex DHP 823, 1939 ex Nord 4596, ex KPEV G8 'Münster 4937'

*

104

0-8-0

Henschel

11233

1912

ex DHP 830, 1939 ex Nord 4581, ex KPEV G8 'Halle 4834'

Rayak works 5/16

105

0-8-0

Vulcan

2182

1906

ex DHP 838, 1939 ex Nord 4591, ex KPEV G8 'Cassel 4811' or 'Cassel 2310'

Rayak shed 5/16

106

0-8-0

Vulcan

2469

1909

ex DHP 814, 1939 ex Nord 4595, ex KPEV G8 'Elberfeld 4890'

Rayak next to works 5/16

107

0-8-0

Vulcan

2626

1910

ex DHP 845, 1939 ex Est 4814, ex KPEV G8 'Stettin 4814'

Tripoli shed 5/16

108

0-8-0

Schichau

1555

1907

ex DHP 840, 1939 ex Nord 4587, ex KPEV G8 'Breslau 4810'

Tripoli shed 5/16

109

0-8-0

Schichau

1524

1907

ex DHP 818, 1939 ex Nord 4586, ex KPEV G8 'Münster 4848'

Rayak shed 5/16

110

0-8-0

Henschel

10924

1912

ex DHP 819, 1939 ex Nord 4580, ex KPEV G8 'Halle 4826'

Tripoli yard 5/16
(tender 104)
* 1 loco Rayak yard 5/16

In 1939 the French decided to send 48 Prussian G 8 class locos they had obtained as part of war reparations from Germany after World War I to the DHP. Ten of these went to CEL in 1961, 25 to Syria (CFS 040.451-475) and the rest to Turkey. Nine of those survive in Lebanon, while two of the CFS locos (040.452 and 460) survived in Halab Syria prior to the Syrian War and another three in Turkey (TCDD 44059 in Cankiri, 44062 in Izmir-Alsancak and 44071 in Usak). Out of a total of 1,054 G 8 built between 1902 and 1913, only eleven more survive worldwide (one in Bulgaria, two in Italy, one in Poland, one in Germany and six more in Turkey, having been obtained directly from Germany by CFOA after World War I). Of those, only KPEV ‘Mainz 4981’ (Hanomag 6721/1913, 1987 TCDD 44079, 1916 ex KPEV ‘Münster 4981’) at the Darmstadt-Kranichstein railway museum in Germany has ever been active in preservation.

102 104 105 106 107
108 109 110 10X 10X

Other classes of standard gauge DHP steam locos had operated into Lebanon prior to 1961, as had British War Department locos on the HBT between 1942 and 1946, but all of these were allocated to CFS in 1961. These would have included DHP 2-8-0 K 51-53 (Maffei 1910) and K 54-55 (Krauss-Maffei 1938), DHP 0-6-0 58-59 (Esslingen 1890/91, ex CFOA), DHP 2-6-0 618-620 (Borsig 1912, ex CFOA), two 0-10-0 G 10 (later CFS 050.501-502, Borsig 1913, ex CFOA) and WD 2-10-0 73685-63688 (NBL 1944, later CFS 150.685-688).

Lebanon received its first four main line diesels in 1960:

Class/ No. CEL Type Builder Constr. No. Year Weight (t) Power (hp) Notes / Origin

Situation

202

4wDE

Moyse

1934

ex 1050mm

Beyrouth NBT shed 2/02 scrapped c.2005/06

203

4wDE

Moyse

1934

ex 1050mm

Beyrouth NBT shed 2/02 scrapped c.2005/06

209

shunter

GMC Dodge

converted from jeep

Rayak works derelict 5/16

?

shunter

GMC Dodge

converted from jeep

Beyrouth NBT shed 5/16

?

shunter

GMC Dodge

converted from jeep

Beyrouth NBT yard derelict 5/16

209 2XX 2XX

601

0-6-0DE

GM-EMD

25462

4/1960

600

GM6

602

0-6-0DE

GM-EMD

25463

4/1960

600

GM6, in use 1983

Beyrouth NBT shed 5/16

603

0-6-0DE

GM-EMD

25464

4/1960

600

GM6

604

0-6-0DE

GM-EMD

25465

4/1960

600

GM6, in use 1983

Beyrouth NBT outside derelict 5/16

Obtained as part of a U.S. aid package to Lebanon.

602 604

DC-1201

Co-Co DE

Cegielski

1977

96.0

1660

oper. 1989

Beyrouth NBT shed 5/16

DC-1202

Co-Co DE

Cegielski

1977

96.0

1660

oper. 1989

Beyrouth NBT shed 5/16

DC-1203

Co-Co DE

Cegielski

1977

96.0

1660

oper. 1989

Beyrouth NBT shed 5/16

SU45-type diesels ordered in Poland after the outbreak of the Civil War. They were the most modern and the last locos to operate in Lebanon, after which they were put in store in Beirut NBT in March 1995. Up until at least 2002 their engines were run once a month.

1201 1202 1204

ZZACDty 1

railcar

De Dietrich

1934

26.3

210

ZZACDty 2

railcar

De Dietrich

1934

26.3

210

ZZACDty 3

railcar

De Dietrich

1935

27.0

210

ZZACDty 4

railcar

De Dietrich

1935

27.0

210

A-10450

diesel railcar

Uerdingen

66565

1959

1984 ex DB 798 672-2, ex VT98 9672

Beyrouth NBT shed 2/02 scrapped c.2005/06

A-10451

diesel railcar

MAN

146571

1961

1984 ex DB 798 789-4, ex VT98 9789

Beyrouth NBT shed 2/02 scrapped c.2005/06

A-10452

diesel railcar

Uerdingen

66601

1960

1984 ex DB 798 707-6, ex VT98 9707

A-10453

diesel railcar

Uerdingen

66595

1960

1984 ex DB 798 708-4, ex VT98 9708

Beyrouth NBT shed 2/02 scrapped c.2005/06

B-10450

driving trailer

Orion

98 143

1955

-

1983 ex DB 998 143-2, ex VB98 143 

B-10451

driving trailer

Uerdingen

-

1956

-

1983 ex DB 998 032-7, ex VB98 032 

*

B-10452

driving trailer

Uerdingen

-

1956

-

1983 ex DB 998 010-3, ex VB98 010 

*

B-10453

driving trailer

Orion

98 153

1956

-

1983 ex DB 998 153-1, ex VB98 153

*

* one destroyed in Summer 1984 attack

C-10450

interm. trailer

MAN

145091

1960

1983 ex DB 998 771-0, ex VS98 171

C-10451

interm. trailer

WMD

1408

1959

1983 ex DB 998 876-7, ex VS98 276

Jounieh Gare 04/00, scrapped

C-10452

interm. trailer

Uerdingen

66514

1959

1983 ex DB 998 672-0, ex VS98 072

C-10453

interm. trailer

WMD

1394

1959

1983 ex DB 998 862-7, ex VS98 262

Beyrouth NBT shed, scrapped c.2005/06

In 1983, CEL bought four second-hand Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) three-car diesel railcar train sets from Germany via Schenker. They were refurbished, fitted with air conditioners and repainted in yellow at Kassel Works. From Kassel they were dispatched by rail to Piraeus port in Greece, from where they were shipped to Beirut. After their arrival an upsurge in fighting meant that one driving trailer had to be written off before it could enter service after it was shelled at Beirut port. Soon after all of the other units were sent to Jounieh station for storage until things cooled down. From 1985, passenger service was reinstated for a short time between Dora and Jbail, with the railcars first running under their own power and later as loco-hauled stock as part of the mixed train to Chekka. A passenger service is reported to have operated for the last time between 1991/92 and 1992/93 between Dora and Jounieh (10 km). After that the railcars all went into storage at Jounieh (1 unit) and Beirut NBT, but were all scrapped around 2005/06.

Diema delivered two motor trolleys to Lebanon in 1974, of which at least one survives:

- motor trolley Diema  3513  1974 DD 6/3, via Ferrostaal AG, Essen(8 hp, 800 kg)  Beyrouth St. Michel yard 5/16
? motor trolley Diema  3544  1974 DD 6/3, via Ferrostaal AG, Essen  Tripoli 8/98 10/99

At Beirut St. Michel there are also two hand-pump trolleys: one has been restored and is on display, while only the frame of the second remains.


Rob Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk