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Communication in Palestine: (1) Railways before 1948 (Nakba), British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume II - Page 853. Chapter XX
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Posted on October 28, 2007
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British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine
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Posted by Webmaster on June 14, 2013 #151149



Section 1.


The Palestine Railways Administration embraces the management and operation of railways in Palestine, Egypt (Sinai) and Trans-Jordan, with running rights in Syria. The total route mileage at present operated by the Palestine Railways comprises 1,048 kilometres of track, of which 520 kilometres are in Palestine (316 standard gauge, 178 105-cm. gauge and 26 dual gauge) as under:-

(a) The Hijaz Railway in Palestine, i.e. from Haifa to Acre,

Haifa to Samakh and Tulkarm to Affule (105 cm.). (b) The Jaffa-Jerusalem line (4'8 1/2'').

(c) The main line of the Railways from Rafa to Haifa (4'8 1/2"). 2. Section (a) was built by the Turkish Government to connect

with the main line of the Hijaz Rail way, which was constructed principally for pilgrim traffic from Damascus to Mecca and Medina. Section (b) was built as a metre gauge railway during the Turkish regime by a French Company under an Ottoman concession. Section (c) was completed to Haifa by the British Army in 1918 as the northern extension of the line which had followed the Army in the advance from Egypt.

3. The Palestine Government owns only standard gauge railways within Palestine. The section from Kantara to Rafa (across Sinai) is operated on behalf of His Majesty's Government which take a share of any profits derived proportionate to their capital investment: The Hijaz Railway is operated by the Palestine Government on behalf of His Majesty's Government who hold it in trust; losses on this section are a charge to Palestine Government funds.

4. The railway system has been generally improved since it was taken over by the civil administration from the military authorities in 1920. Narrow gauge lines have been converted to standard gauge; large mechanical workshops have been established at Qishon near Haifa; many bridges which were built to wartime standards have been rebuilt; new stations have been erected