Yes you read right! Everyone who visited or lives in Cyprus knows that we don’t have railways or we won’t have in the future. So the only thing left is the past!
And yes indeed, we did have railways in the past, a part of our history, that even most Cypriots don’t know, especially young people.
When we visited Kakopetria village, a place that we really like and visit often, we decided to explore the villages close to Kokopetria, in case they had something interesting to see. On our way to Evrychou village, a sign about Evrychou Railway Station, caught our attention.
So we followed the road signs and we arrived at the Cyprus Railways Museum.
What we learned in our visit:
The Cyprus Government Railway (C.G.R.), as it was officially known, ran from 1905 until 1951 when it closed down due to financial constraints.
The first section heading from Ammochostos to Lefkosia (Nicosia -the capital city of Cyprus) was 57km long, and officially opened for public transport on October 1905. By December 1907, a further 38km had been added, from Lefkosia to Morfou. And by June 1915 a third, 23km long extension from Morfou to Evrychou had been added. With this section the line of C.G.R. was completed.
The Cyprus Government Railway was used in a number of ways and served both the colonial authorities and the local population.
The railway was an important conveyor of mail to and from Ammochostos harbour and carried mail overseas. It was also used for the distribution of mail throughout the island.
During World War II and post war years, the Cyprus Railways played a significant role as a prime mover of troops, stores and ammunitions from Ammochostos harbour to the Royal Air Force airfield in Lefkosia.
With time, road transport developed at the expense of the railway. So the British Government announced the closure of the C.G.R. on December 1951.
An extension of the railway which was built to serve the Cyprus Mines Corporation operated until 1974.
It would be very nice if we still had railways in Cyprus!