Missing The Train

Mar Mikhael Train Station

There’s been a lot of talk lately of insufferable traffic jams and endless bottlenecks in and around Beirut.

The influx of tourists and visiting Lebanese expats has surely exacerbated the number of cars on the mostly ill-equipped roads of this tiny country that already boasts over 1.3 million cars (1 car for every 3 persons) and where public transportation – limited to buses – is an unreliable means to say the least.

But what if the answer to this problem was in a long-forgotten treasure?

Yesterday, I saw the play “Aya Se3a Byoussal El Tren?” (What Time Does the Train Arrive?) at Mar Mikhael’s abandoned train station. The show is a fun and interactive performance devised to celebrate the history and culture surrounding Lebanon’s Railway.

I pass through Mar Mikhael almost everyday but I never knew there was a train station in the area. I always thought the lot was a dump for rundown public buses.

And yet, there it was, a beautiful gem, left to collect the dust of time, one generation after the other, one administration after the other.

Why not restore it? Why not bring it back to life? It might save ours.

– The last two pictures of the train wagons are courtesy of @S0wf.

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1 Response

  1. Sophie says:

    I was completely unaware of the presence of such a “long-forgotten treasure” in a place I so frequently pass by.
    And I say yes, bring it back, we need it more than ever.

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