Trains are one of the largest lateral vehicles that are in existence today. These exceptionally long mechanically beasts lumber steadfastly on a set of tracks and never wander off like trucks or Lorries. Hence it comes as a surprise when such vehicles are reported lost. One such locomotive lost by Egypt has just been recovered, and the country plans to treat it nice this time.
A “lost” locomotive stranded for years in the middle of the Egyptian desert is finally back on track. Egyptian rail authorities have spotted the missing train eight years after it disappeared in the country’s Western Desert, the reported Guardian. The train’s last journey was in 2006, when it moved from the town of Dakhla in the north-western province of New Valley and has since never returned.
How can you lose an entire train? The Indian Rail authorities had recently “lost” a train for 17 days, owing to a massive communication gap between the motorman and his reporting station. However, the train lost by Egypt has much more tragic tale.
Egypt’s railway authorities, way back 1996, opened a line to connect remote parts of the country’s Western Desert with a port on the eastern Red Sea coast. The tracks were laid which ran through unforgiving desert terrain and hence the service was quite tough to maintain. The desert’s constantly shifting sands often covered the tracks and made running trains very difficult. Finally, the rail authorities simply relented to the harsh desert and closed down the service. However, one of the trains was simply left stranded.
Seizing the opportunity, metal scavengers made away with hundreds of tons of railway tracks, leaving the train abandoned in the desert, reported Gulf News. As per official records, thieves managed to uproot and steal about 150 kilometers of tracks in the area, making the train’s return impossible. Apparently, the train’s driver is still reported as missing. The officials further claim that the train was never “lost,” but was always under the watchful eye of the state – unable to move, but sitting safely in Kharga station on the far west of the line.
Now after eight whole years, the rail authorities have finally located the “lost” train and plan to bring back the train and restore it to its formal glory. The estimated cost for bringing back the train is about 2 million Egyptian Pounds. What is baffling is the fact that Egypt has one of the world’s earliest train services, but rail authorities claim owing to the harsh desert terrain, the service has steadily deteriorated.
[Image Credit | WYKOP]