The International Steam Pages

The Preservation Scene in Cyprus 2011-5

There are only two other reports on Cyprus on this website, the first being by Hugh Ballantyne from 2004 and the other by James Waite from 2006, with a brief 2009 update. Now Ken Jones and James Waite combine to give a 2011 update.

Gyula Marosi has sent me a further update (8th September 2015):

In November 2014 the CGR-museum finally opened its doors (and windows, as you can see in the accompanying picture). The outdoor space has not changed much since last summer. Same tracks, same wagons, same posters, etc. The indoor exhibition: well, I have never seen it before, so it was completely new for me. On both levels of the building there are lots of posters, 
pictures, and relics from the history of the CGR.

Admission is free, and the museum is open every day from 09:30 till 17:00. As a bonus there are free leaflets and free cold water also (which latter is very useful in the building with a temperature well above 40 °C).

Now in 2013, Gyula Marosi brings positive news about the Cyprus Railway Museum:

The project is not dead. The museum area is very nicely cleaned up, so it no longer looks like a building site, but rather a nice park. The tracks have been slightly extended from last year (about 15 meters to the North-West, and about 10 meters to the South-East), now the length of the Y-shaped tracks reaches a total of about 100 meters. A new shelter has also been built recently on the right side (pointing to the North) of the Y track, Wagon 152 was transferred here (after a third restoration work in 2012) and this van is now set covered in this shelter along with the hand-powered trolley that used to be chained to the tracks in front of the house. Some posters are also shown here on the wall.

We can see the (very) slow but continuous developments not only in the museum area, but also around: the dirt roads that come from the village to the museum got an asphalt layer, and also new signs have been installed to show the direction to the Cyprus Railway Museum.

Cyprus Railway Museum

The museum is still being established at Evrychou station, and I'm unable to say if this is ongoing or dead as no-one was around to ask. It was meant to in place during 2006 but it is still very much a building site. The brown tourist signs are up in the Troodos Hills but tourist information at Paphos and Nicosia knew nothing about it, the latter actually asked had we seen any brown directional signs.

It has a portaloo, a caravan and some track with a hand trolley chained to the rails. It looks like someone is trying to create a car park but there's no information at the site and I think it might be a long time before it is open if at all. (Ken Jones photographs)

Steamy Matters

CGR no. 1 at Famagusta is alive and well, even if it's not well known to the tourist authorities there (for a picture see the 2006 report).


Ken Jones found in Paphos a mint copy of the 2003 book detailing the Cyprus Railway, the CMG and other lines like self propelled cranes and uses of railways for archaeological exploration in Cyprus plus a walk along the old Cyprus railway made in 1971. Only 500 copies of this book were produced. His copy cost him €75 and has over 400 pages with loads of b/w pictures. This compares with one for sale on the internet in the UK at £140. The bookshop in Paphos said she could obtain other copies of this book! It does weigh nearly 3kg but appears to be the total reference book for the island:

The Railways of Cyprus 
(ISBN: 9963422616 ) 
Radford, M 430pp :: 310mm x 250mm (12" x 10")

Or if you want something cheaper Ken heard of the 2011 book being printed to order at approx £38:

Cyprus Government Railway
(ISBN: 9786136850047)
Elmo, Timoteus

Or if you are lucky to own one of the original books on the Cyprus railway these are going for up to £300:

The Story of the Cyprus Government Railway
(ISBN: 0852984081 / 0-85298-408-1) 
Turner, B.S.
Mechanical Engineering Publications, London, 1979. First Edition. Hardcover, pictorial boards. 178 pages with index and appendices. Fully illustrated 

James Waite comments:

Ken mentions Michael Radford's and Barrie Turner's books about the island's railways. Michael Radford's huge and lavishly produced book (ISBN 9963-42-261-6) was published by the Laiki Cultural Centre in connection with the 2004 exhibition. It's expensive but well worth the money if you're after all there is to know about the island's railways, especially the small mining systems in the Troodos mountains and even the odd hand-worked line, none of which have been documented elsewhere so far as I'm aware. It was certainly in print recently and is listed on the Laiki website so is probably still available now. The Laiki centre doesn't supply the public direct. The excellent Moufflon Bookshop at 1 Sofouli Street in south Nicosia (, email, phone +357 22 665 155) is undoubtedly the best bookshop anywhere in the south of the island. They're happy to buy in copies and ship them to the UK though the postage can't be cheap for such a heavy book. If you're on the island it's well worth calling in there just to browse through the remarkable range of books they keep in stock which sometimes include copies of Barrie Turner's book. The shop has a counterpart in the north of the city at Rüstem Kitabevi or Rüstem's Bookshop at Girne Caddesi 22 (phone +90 392 228 3506), another must-browse store which may well have second hand copies of both books from time to time. The two shops are no more than about 10 minutes walk apart now that the green line can be crossed in Ledra Street, the city's main shopping street. Barrie Turner's book quite often turns up in British second hand railway bookshops and generally costs around £50 for a copy in good condition - much less than the silly prices asked at Amazon or Abe Books!

Surviving Cyprus Petrol and Diesel Locomotives

James Waite has supplied some notes and pictures.

The first part are of all the locos that have ever been at the CMC yard at Xeros since 2002 when we first visited Cyprus.

Hugh Ballantyne remarked in his piece that there seems to be duplication between the numbers of some of the locos. The explanation is that the CMC was an early user of i/c locos for shunting around its yards. It had 8 of these, all small petrol 0-4-0's supplied by Vulcan Iron Works of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, between 1923 (only 4 years after it built its first stretch of line) and 1949. Six of these are still lying around the yard at Xeros, or at least they were when I was last there in 2008. The other two are preserved elsewhere, no. 7 (VIW 4712/1949, erroneously numbered 1) beside the Nicosia-Kyrenia main road and no. 5 (VIW 4227/1938) beside the road at Lefke, not far from Xeros in the westernmost part of North Cyprus. The CMC called them tractors rather than locos and numbered them in a separate series from the its "main" line steam and diesel locos..

This is  no. 7 (the loco now beside the Nicosia-Kyrenia road) and 1 (VIW 3371/1923), the latter's worksplate (strangely trimmed but, apart from not being bowed. identical to the steam version of that era, RD) is mounted on the wall of the CMC bar at Xeros, one of many plates and other industrial bric-a-brac displayed at this fascinating place. The other tractors still carry their works plates.

These are no. 4 (VIW 4227/1938) and no. 8 (VIW 4713/1949):

These are no's 3 (VIW4181/1935) and 2 (VIW 4032/1929).

This is no. 9 (Plymouth 6297/1962), in the second picture it's with tractor no. 6 (VIW 4228/1938) and steam loco no. 4 in the background.

On the left is the diesel no. 7 (Plymouth 3985/1939) while on the right is a mystery Plymouth whose running and works numbers seem to be unknown.

Finally this is of no. 8 (5290/1946) standing where it came to a stop with its loaded train from the mines on the day that the Turkish army invaded this part of the island in 1974.

The CMC was a US company and was facing demands for a huge decontamination exercise in 1974, about a couple of years before the last of its mines would have become worked out. The mines were (and still are) south of the green line whereas Xeros and the port are in the north. They pulled out abruptly declaring that they could not continue working under an illegal occupation - but most locals consider that this was just a convenient ruse to avoid having to do the decontamination work which has remained a festering sore in both parts of the island ever since.

CMC no. 5 (VIW 4227/1938) is plinthed at Lefke. It's on the left hand side of the main road as you enter Lefke from the north and easy to find. CMC no. 7 (wrongly numbered 1) now stands on the right hand side of the main road from Nicosia (Lefkosa) to Kyrenia (Girne), maybe two miles or so north of the main Gonyeli roundabout north of Nicosia where the main roads to Famagusta (Gazimagusa), Morphou (Guzelyurt) and the border crossing into the south converge.

This is no. 1 (OK 21018/1938) from the Vasilikos-Drapia copper railway in the south of the island, on show outside the Laiki Cultural Centre on Lord Byron Avenue in south Nicosia as a part of an exhibition about the island's railways in 2004. It used to be kept as an exhibit at the Elias Country Club Hotel on the coast in the eastern suburbs of Limassol though I've not been there and don't know if it returned after the 2004 exhibition.

The same railway's no. 2 (OK 21019/1938) is preserved with a few wagons on a small viaduct at Kalavassos over the river on what used to be the old line's Kalavassos branch. This is easy to find about twelve miles to the east of Limassol and one mile north of the Zygi junction on the main A1 motorway. The line closed in 1976 and maintained quite a roster of OK and Plymouth diesels.

Rob Dickinson