In August 1895, the first steam train departed from Beirut and passed across the Bekaa Valley towards Rayak station, near the border with modern-day Syria. It was the golden age of rail transport in Lebanon.
Lebanon's 403km of railway once connected Beirut to Damascus, Syria, and Palestine. Today, there is nothing left but dilapidated station buildings and rusted locomotives. The Lebanese civil war, which ran from 1975 to 1990, effectively put an end to rail transport in the country.
Warring factions demolished some train stations during the civil war; others were later bulldozed for highway projects; still, others have merely been left abandoned. Historic locomotives rust at Rayak and Tripoli stations, while in Europe, the same engines are preserved in museums.