Thursday, 20 March 2008

Cypriot Railways

After finding a Cyprus Government Railway Troodos 2-6-0 body kit on the Locomotives International Online Shop I decided to do some research into this railway. The kit was made by Roxey who also make two other CGR locos. The CGR was a 76 mile 2'6" gauge railway network which operated from 1905 to 1951. Like many ambitious narrow gauge railways it was never a financial success. Extending the network was recommended to increase revenue but didn't help and cutbacks started in 1931. Most of the locomotives were scrapped though No 1 is on a plinth outside the site of Famagusta Station. Evrykhou station is being restored and will house a Cyprus Government Railway museum.

On New Railway Modellers "Curious Orange" is building a GCR 2-6-0 for his Moel Eilio layout. It is first mentioned here. I'd quite like a large tender locomotive to pull steam tourist trains in my modern narrow gauge scheme, however after seeing how large these locos look are compared with 2" gauge stock I think I'll probably go for something with a smaller loading gauge. I also like the CGR Wickham railbus so maybe I'll say that in my alternative reality the Snowdonian narrow gauge lines had something similar which got preserved.

Originally uploaded by pat & nige
Cyprus Mines Corporation also operated 2'6" gauge railways in Cyprus. These railways have lain abandoned since the CMC pulled out of Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of 1974. Many of the locomotives and wagons are still where they were left when the railway closed. The pink steam locomotive (right) at Guzelyurt is the CMC number 3.

There was also a narrow gauge line which ran from a mine at Kalavasos to a harbour four miles away at Zygi on the south coast. It ran diesels and closed in 1976.