The Railway in the Middle East 1914 - 1919

The Railway Muddle that confused the ability for friend and foe to trasnsport troops and goods in the Middle East in WWI
The map above is to be part of a new page on the railway structure during the Sinai Palestine Campaigns,
I am asking members for any relevant information regarding these lines to get it touch. I intend to cover the attack on the railway at Asluj of course and the line to Medina - however displaying this map here from Llyod Georges Memoirs, shows Turkish, German and French track was laid in two different widths. Later
a British 3' 6' track was laid from Kantara in Egypt to cross the Sinai, this meant there was a jumble of varios width lines laid by different nationalities, therefore the rolling stock from one nation could not run on the track of another.



""The AMR at the Railway Station at Asluj" - Men of the NZMR preparing to blow-up the station. Copy relating to the railways in the Middle East coming soon.
A team of Auckland Mounted Riflemen have a hard working team lifting rails and sleepers from the rail bed at the left of photograph- the rails are then heated over fires to soften the steel and then bend the rail to make them useless to any enemy repair squads who follow - two rails lie twisted in the foreground.

Below a section from General Allenby's Dispatch – December 16, 1917 showing the importance of this isolated station south of Beersheba
"...6. The date of the attack on Beersheba, which was to commence the operations, was fixed as Oct. 31. Work had been begun on the railway from Shellal towards Karm, and on the line from Gamli to El Buggar. The development of water at Esani, Khalasa, and Asluj proceeded satisfactorily. These last two places were to be the starting point for the mounted force detailed to make a wide flanking movement and attack Beersheba from the east and north-east."

Right: Arab workers begin the labour intensive job of putting a Turkish Locomotive steam engine back on the tracks.
Date unknown but from a selection of photos collected between September 1917 and September 1918.
The first British train from Ramleh to Jerusalem. Single 3'6" track and new gravel bed laid by the Egyptian Labour Corps.

copy follows.