This book tells for the first time the story of a little-known byway of railway and colonial history. It is a fascinating story at that, and one which was well worth preserving for posterity. Not the least remarkable aspect of it is the way in which it came to be written in the first place, and the author’s modest but lucid account of how, starting from a second-hand report of an old locomotive preserved somewhere in Cyprus, he gradually uncovered the full story of the genesis, life and final decline and closure of the Cyprus Government Railway, as well as many of the physical remains.
Beginning with a brief but comprehensive sketch of the history and strategic significance of the island, the book goes on to tell of the British take-over, the early demands and schemes for a railway, and its eventual planning and construction. We learn how it was operated, how it coped with the demands of two world wars, and how it finally succumbed to the competition of the motor vehicle. Full descriptions are given of its locomotives and rolling stock and, so far as they can be pieced together from the remaining evidence, of its fixed installations.