About 85 km northeast of the Beautiful city Beirut- Lebanon, is the “City of the Sun”, or what was known as the “Heliopolis” in the Roman and Greek antiquity. This city holds some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon and in the Middle-east.
If you visit this city now, you will enjoy many beautiful cites, and a very remarkable one; the Baalbek railway. The railway, which looks ruined nowadays was renowned in its “golden age”.
On 19 June 1902, Baalbek was connected to the DHP, the French-owned railway concession in Ottoman Syria. It formed a station on the standard-gauge line between Riyaq to its south and Aleppo (now in Syria) to its north.
This Aleppo Railway connected to the Beirut–Damascus Railway but—because that line was built to a 1.05-meter gauge—all traffic had to be unloaded and reloaded at Riyaq.
The French general Georges Catroux proclaimed the independence of Lebanon in 1941 but colonial rule continued until 1943.
Baalbek still has its railway station but service has been discontinued since the 1970s, originally owing to the Lebanese Civil War.
Many people residing in the “City of the Sun” still remember stories about the railway station that their parents have told them. So, this railway station has become a “living memory”.