Italian Libya Railways

Italian Libya Railways was a group of small railways built in the Italian colony of Libya between the two World Wars.

The five railways in Italian Libya.


The Kingdom of Italy built in Italian Libya nearly 400 km of railways with 950 mm (3 ft 1 38 in) gauge.[1]


The Italian authorities decided to give priority to the construction of roads in Libya when Benito Mussolini took control of the Italian colonies. After 1926 no more railways were made in Libya, but during World War II the need of railways transport to the front during the war in the frontier with British Egypt changed this approach.

In spring 1941 the Italian government started the construction of a new railway between Tripoli [2] and Benghazi, but by the end of 1942 all was stopped because of the Italian defeat in north Africa: only 18 km were done in Cirenaica.[3]. In the same period was started the enlargement of the "Tripoli-Zuara" until the border with Tunisia (and also these works was blocked by the Italian defeat at El Alamein in November 1942).

Additionally it is noteworthy to pinpoint that an international project was studied for decades, but never done because of excessive financial difficulties:

  • Italian "Transaharan railway" (Tripoli-Tchad/Camerun) between Libia and the Gulf of Guinea[4]


In Libya the first locomotives were the steam locomotives R.401 and R.301, but the most successful were the R.302 produced in northern Italy.


There were only five small railways:

1) Tripoli-Zuara (118 km):

Stations Central: Tripoli 5 km: Gurgi 6 km: Gargaresc 16 km: Janzur 22 km: Saliad 30 km: Lemaia 35 km: EtTuebiaGarg 47 km: EzZauia 56 km: EsSabriaBu-Isa 64 km: Sorman 76 km: SabrathaVulpia 82 km: ZungaelAgelat 100 km: Mellita 118 km: Zuara

2) Bengazi-Barce (108 km):

Stations Central: Bengazi 9 km: Lete 19 km: Benina 30 km: Regima 41 km: GabreGira 49 km: BuMariam 60 km: el-Abiar 76 km: SidiMaius 86 km: Sferi 91 km: Sleaia 97 km: SidiGibrin 108 km: Barce

3) Tripoli-Garian (90 km):

Stations Central: Tripoli 5 km: Gurgi 6 km: Gargaresc 19 km: ElMisciasta 24 km: EnNgila 29 km: SuaniBenAdem 35 km: BirElMiamin 43 km: UmmelAdem 50 km: ElAzizia 83 km: HenscirElAbiat 90 km: Vertice31

4) Bengasi-Soluch (56 km):

Stations Central: Bengazi 1 km: Bengasi Porto 2 km: Berca 10 km: Guarscia 14 km: GuarsciaBen 24 km: Nauaghia 32 km: NauaghiaB 40 km: Giardina 45 km: GiardinaVS 50 km: SoluchFV 56 km: Soluch

5) Tripoli-Tagiura (21 km):

Stations Central: Tripoli 2 km: Tripoli Riccardo 3 km: Cavalleria 5 km: SidiMessri 9 km: Fornaci 11 km: AinZara 13 km: Sghedeida 15 km: ElMellaha 20 km: TagiuraFV 21 km: Tagiura VS


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Orsomax OEA villaggi". Archived from the original on 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
  2. ^ Italian Tripoli
  3. ^ Le ferrovie coloniali italiane in Libia (in Italian) Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Astuto, Riccardo. "Questioni ferroviarie africane". Rassegna economica dell'Africa italiana. Roma. Vol. XXIX. p.34