While the books of Barry S. Turner and Michael Radford, which were seen as reliable sources of information for the historical history of rail transport in Cyprus, which left their mark on the British Colonial period, were also utilized, information was also provided from the elderly living in those days.
In the first 27 years of the British Colonial Period, camels were used in transportation services throughout Cyprus, while carriages such as horses, donkeys, mules and castrated ox were also used. The means of transportation used by foreigners with the elite layer 'Garotsa 'and' Gabriyole 'were known as horse carriages. Cyprus first meets steam powered trains in 1905. However, XX. With the introduction of motor vehicles to the country as of the first quarter of the century, this time also begins a process that envisages the interruption of rail transport. Finally, the competitive fight between motor vehicle transport and rail transport ends in 1951 with the victory of motor vehicle transport. Thus, the “Cypriot Government Railway” transportation, which lasts for 46 years, is a thing of the past.
THE FIRST YEARS OF THE ENGLISH colonial period
In 1878, when the British first came to the island, the roads other than the main road of Nicosia-Larnaca were pathways. These were only suitable for cars and camels traveling by animals. The British government was planning to establish railway transportation between Larnaca, which peaked in exports and imports during the Ottoman period, and Omorfo, which exports vegetables and fruits. However, the Mayor of Larnaca opposes the construction of railways to Larnaca on the grounds that the camelers who continue the transportation throughout the island with camels will remain unemployed. Thus, the railway project is shifted from Larnaca to Famagusta.
Although the first high Commissioner of Cyprus, Sir Garnet Wolseley, desires transportation between 1878 and 1879, this idea cannot be realized because the UK's stay in Cyprus is not certain and sufficient financial skiing cannot be separated. Sir George Elliot and Mr. Samuel Brown also continued to work on the establishment of the railway system with the port of Famagusta between 1878-1881. Although the projects they prepared are not implemented, they constitute a resource for those who come after them. Mr. An entrepreneur named Provand submitted his first offer to the British government in 1891 and the second offer in 1894 to build a railroad in Cyprus. However, both offers are not accepted. Finally, the Royal Engineer Lieutenant HL Pritchard, who was commissioned in 1898 to prepare the details of the railroad project with the development of the port of Famagusta, presents the report dated March 10, 1899, which he prepared at the end of his studies.
CYPRUS GOVERNMENT TRAIN PROJECT WHICH WAS REALIZED IN THREE SEPARATE STAGES
Frederick Shelford, the chief agent in Cyprus, It submitted a feasibility report to the government in June 1903 for the construction of the railway line. The line between Famagusta, Nicosia, Omorfo, Karavostasi and Evrykhou proposed to be built was approximately 76 miles (122 km) long. Since the feasibility report presented was accepted in November 1903, the works of the 1th (36 km) long Magusa-Nicosia line, which is the first phase of the train route, started in February 58 and is completed on 1904. To the general management of the line GA Day is appointed. The opening of the first train route is carried out by Sir Charles Anthony King-Harman, the High Commissioner of Cyprus, who went to Famagusta by train on 20.8.1905.
The implementation of the 24nd stage railway project between Nicosia and Omorfo, which is envisaged to be 39 miles (2 km) in length, commences on March.1905, and the works are completed on March 31, 1907. This line reached Omorfo after passing through Ayios Dhometios, Yerolakko and Kokkinotrimithia after the Kanlıdere bridge on the current Mehmet Akif Avenue, known as Shakespeare Avenue.
The construction of the Güzelyurt-Evrykhou line, which is the 3rd phase of the railway project, is 15 miles (24 km) in length, and begins on November 1913, 14. However, since there was no profit from this line until 1915, Evrykhou was disabled and the previous Kalokhorio / Çamlıköy station was used as the last stop.
CYPRUS GOVERNMENT TRAIN LINE
Although the cost of the Cypriot Government Railway project was originally estimated at £ 141.526 Pounds, it was determined that £ 199.367 Pounds was spent at the end of the project. The journey between Famagusta and Omorfo took about four hours. 10 stations between Famagusta-Evrychou line (Famagusta, Prastio / Dörtyol, Yenagra / Narcissus, Angastina / Aslanköy, Trahoni / Demirhan, Nicosia, Kokkino Trimithia, Omorfo / Güzelyurt, Kalonchorio / Çamlıköy, Evrychou), 15 stops (Gaidhouras / Korkuteli, / Tuzla, Vitsada / Pınarlı, Monastir / Çukurova, Exometochi / Düzova, Miamilea / Haspolat, Ayios Dometios / Kermia, Aerodrome, Yerolakkos / Alayköy, Niketas / Güneşköy, Damji, Gaziveran / Gaziveren, Pentayia / Yeşilyurt, Skouriotissa and Phlasso) Side line (Stylos / Mutluyaka, Pyrga / Pirhan, Marathovouno / Ulukışla, Epikho / Cihangir, Kaimakli / Küçükkaymaklı, Dhenia / Denya, Avlona, Peristerona, Kato Kopia / Zümrütköy, Argaki / Akçay and Kargotis) were available.
The railway company had 12 steam powered locomotives bought from different companies, 9 trolls known as "railcars", 17 wagons and about 100 cars for different purposes.
The speeds of the steam powered locomotives did not exceed 30 miles per hour (48 km). Coals used as fuel in trains were brought to Famagusta dock sometimes from England, sometimes from Port Said and sometimes from South Africa. Then, local wood and finally fuel oil started to be used. Since the used water had to be softened to prevent damage to the machine boiler, the waters were softened by adding chemicals to the water tanks of the Stations.
Before the flight services started, their overseas mail would be transported to the port of Famagusta by train, and from there they were sent to their destination by ships. Since the rail transport was used in domestic mail distribution, there were Postal Offices or agencies at the railway stations in Angastina, Trakhoni, Kalokhorio and some other places.
NICOSIA TRAIN STATION
At the train station between Küçükkaymaklı and Nicosia, there was the building of the station manager, the station building, the customs building and the station manager who also sold the train ticket. Although the warehouse buildings, now known as “immigrant houses behind the Red Crescent,” and the portico building, which was built for the station clerk in 1906, have survived until today, the Nicosia train station building adjacent to it was demolished and the current building was built in its place.
As of November, 1905, two trains each day from Famagusta to Nicosia, and two trains from Nicosia to Famagusta at regular intervals. Since trains arrive at the station, vehicles such as Garotsa and Gabriyole waiting for passengers at Sarayönü and other stops would go to the station and wait for passengers. The first bus service to Nicosia started in 1929 by Asfalia Motor Car Co. of Michalakis Efthyvoulou (Lakis). This time they started waiting for passengers at the Nicosia train station. Garotsas, Gabrieles, buses, cargo-carrying mules and ox cars, peddlers and passengers waiting for their passengers, who got into the station during the arrival hours of the trains, would turn it into a fairground.
One of the events that adorned the memories of elementary school children in the 1930s was that they went to Famagusta by train, headed by their teachers. As the train passed through an underground tunnel approximately 50 meters long, located between the entrance door of Famagusta Akkule and the historical cemetery of Famagusta, children always started to shout cheerfully. It is recalled that this gives them endless happiness.
USAGE AREAS OF THE TRAIN LINE
The railroad enterprises, which were commissioned to carry people, animals and cargo, carried citrus fruits from Omorfo to Famagusta, while the copper, chrome and asbestos belonging to CMC (Cyprus Mine Corporation) in Lefke previously carried to the port of Famagusta. However, while CMC created its own railway system, it created Xero / Gemikonağı port instead of Famagusta Port.
The train line served to transport military units, military supplies and ammunition from Famagusta to the aircraft area in Famagusta and Xero, even during World Wars 1 and 2. For this reason, it became the focus of attack of German aircraft during World War II.
Approximately 1946 Jewish immigrants who came to the island between 1949 and 50.000 were used to move to the Karaolos concentration camp.
While the railway served the colonial administration, it served the local people. Among the primary services were the distribution of goods coming to Famagusta, the transportation of the timber Mount Trodos to the cities and the provision of telephone, telegraph and post services at some stations. Regional railway stations were a trading center where goods were collected and distributed. During the 1905-year period between 1951-46, when the railway was active, 3.199.934 tons of merchandise were transported by train, while it carried 7.348.643 passengers.
Between 1946 and 1948, train services were organized specially for horse races on the Nicosia running area on Sundays. Two "railcars", known as Trolli, were reserved for this task. On 17.9.1950, the first train took the passengers from Nicosia station and took them to the running area. After this train left the passengers there, while taking the back road and returning to Nicosia train station, as a result of a dispute, the second train set off from the Nicosia train station to go to the running area. Thus, the two trains interchange in the twist of the slope on the north side of the old Golf course. In the encounter, 2 people die while 15 people are injured. One of the people who died. It is learned that Mertdoğan Mercan's father Yogurtcu Mercan Arap.
CLOSING THE CYPRUS GOVERNMENT RAILWAY
Since the 1920s, especially after the Second World War, the fact that the bus and 6-ton diesel trucks were imported to the island and the government accelerated the road construction made train transportation difficult. In order for rail transport to compete with road transport, the machines, rails and wagons that had been worn out and worn out during the Second World War had to be renewed. For this, 400.000 pounds were needed. However, instead of allocating this budget, the government continued to support the import of buses and trucks to the island, while continuing to invest in the construction of new roads for motor vehicles imported to the country. And finally, in February 1932, the rail services to the west of Nicosia were closed and road transportation took its place. However, in 1933 only the line between Nicosia - Kalokhorhorio (Çamlıköy) was re-opened to traffic, while the rails of the five-mile line between Kalokhorio - Evrykhou were removed and taken out of service.
While railway services are closed one by one in this way, the road construction works that started in 1937 between Nicosia and Famagusta are completed in 1941. Since the government's decision to close the 1948nd stage train route between Nicosia and Omorfo in 2 caused a violent reaction from the CMC, the government had to give up this decision for a while. What was said about the closure of the railroad business since 1935 was that the Ford Motor Company, which brought vehicles to Cyprus, had contacts with the government to lift the train services in order to increase the sales of the vehicles imported to the island.
At that time, the long run of the trains at the stations made people harassed. For this reason, they also preferred motorized road transportation, which no longer stopped along the road. It became the subject of humor among the public that the distance between the two points traveled earlier on foot, as the trains moved slowly and often made long-term stops. According to an incident, one day an old woman hurried on foot from Nicosia to Famagusta to pursue work. Regarding his age, the train driver who saw him at the exit of Küçükkaymaklı wanted to take him to the train and take him to Famagusta. However, while the woman continued to walk hastily: she did not get on the train saying "I have a lot of hurry."
Finally, as the British Government decided to shut down the railway transportation completely, the last locomotive number 31.12.1951 departed from Nicosia station on Monday, 1, for its last journey towards Famagusta at 14.47. After reaching Famagusta at 16.38, it is taken to the train hangar. After the railway services are stopped, the dismantling of the rails and other installations on the railway lines is completed by March 1953. As a result of the auction, 1 locomotives, wagons, railroad parts, spare parts and rails, excluding 10 locomotive, were sold to Meyer Newman & Co for £ 65.626 for scrap. All of these are transported to Italy by sea between March-December.1953. While some of the stations were demolished, some of them began to be used as police stations, those in Famagusta and Nicosia as Public Affairs Departments, the grain warehouse in Omorfo, and the health center and forest dormitory in Evryhou. (Source: Yenidüzen)