The Hejaz Railway

The Hejaz Railway

by Metin Hulagu


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On May 2, 1900, Sultan Abdulhamid II, issued an imperial edict, which helped sow the seeds of a decades-old dream. Planned as a means of convenient transportation for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the Hejaz Railway was short-lived, yet it left a remarkable legacy of the early twentieth century. From the very beginning, the Hejaz Railway attracted the attention, excitement, and generosity of the greater Muslim community, and the eventual arrival of the main line in Medina was an occasion for cheerful celebrations. After the outbreak of World War I, the railway, which had been a symbol of Muslim brotherhood and enterprise, was under frequent attack due to its great strategic importance; it was severely damaged, and eventually destroyed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935295037
Publisher: Blue Dome Press
Publication date: 01/16/2011
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix


Journey of the Locomotive into Ottoman Lands xi

Ottoman Railways xi

How the Idea Was Born xvi

Objectives xviii

Making the Dream Come True: the Construction Starts xix

How Other Countries Approached xxii

Financing the Project xxiv

Launching the Railway xxv

Expenditure of the Construction xxvi

Mapping the Destinations: the Network and Intersections xxvi

Neighboring the Rails: Peoples near the Hejaz Railway and the Bedouin Way of Life xxvii

The 1916 Revolt xxvii

Legacy of the Hejaz Railway: the Remains xxix

Restoring the Railway xxx

Part 1 Overview of the Hejaz Railway Construction

Brief History of the Construction 3

Ottoman Central Administration 3

New Commissions Established to Administer the Construction 5

Surveying the Hejaz Railway 7

Tracks, Machines, and Wagons: General Characteristics 8

Plan of Construction 8

Railway Route/s 9

Bedding the Tracks 10

Gauging the Tracks 10

Weighting the Tracks 11

Paving for the Railway 11

Constructing the Railway 12

Servicing the Railway 13

Brakes, Couplings, and Signaling 15

Condition of the Rolling Stock 16

Part 2 Daunting Challenges to the Railway Construction

Shortcomings of the Railway Construction 19

Overwhelming Problems 19

Water Shortage 19

Energy 23

Sand Drifts 25

Working at the Construction 26

Engineering 29

Labor and Manpower 33

Pace of the Construction 44

"Railonomics:" Financial Dimensions of the Hejaz Railway Project 49

Revenue Sources 49

Receipts 53

Expenses 54

Political Problems 56

Locals' Perceptions of the Hejaz Railway 56

The Attacks and their Objectives 57

The Policy towards the Attacks on the Railway 59

British and French Railway Diplomacy 61

Part 3 Stations, Geography, and Rail Lines

Routes and Ports to the Hejaz 65

Geographical Features of the Region 67

Main Rail Lines 71

Sub-lines 98

Other Lines and Intersections 114

Stations and their Characteristics 126

Part 4 General Analysis

Achievements of the Hejaz Railway 133

British Perspectives on the Construction 135

Transportation and the Hejaz Railway 137

Launching the Railway 140

Impact of the Railway on Nearby Districts 143

Public Attention and the Press Coverage 144

Conclusion 147

Bibliography 151

Index 155

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