Turkey to renovate train station in Lebanon on old Hejaz Railway
The Mina Station that began operating in 1911 has served its purpose until 1975, when the Lebanese Civil War took off. It will now be renovated upon a protocol signed in Beirut.
The signatories of the protocol signed on June 28 are the Turkish Tourism Ministry’s Cultural Heritage and Museums Department and the Lebanese Railway and Public Transportation authority.
The cost of the renovation project has not yet been calculated, said Ziyad Nasr, a top Lebanese railway official. Turkey will not be asked to pay for the rejuvenation efforts on the station, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
There are no economic obstacles in the way, a Turkish official said.
“This is a very important project we are doing abroad,” said Yalçın Kurt, head of the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s Cultural Heritage and Museums department.
“It means a lot to us that it is both a cultural asset and that a train station would be renovated. Turkey is carrying out more than 5,000 projects that include civilian architecture and other formations,” he added.
The renovation process is expected to last for one year, the agency’s report said.
The collaborative projects will continue to take place and more restoration projects will be done as investment efforts, Kurt said.
Turkey signed a protocol in 2016 with the government of Jordan for a restoration project at a station on the same railway.
The Turkish-funded restoration of a historic railway station in Jordan is meant to help strengthen ties between Ankara and Amman, said the head of the Turkish agency carrying out the project in February.
The restoration of the Jordanian Hejaz Railway Station “will contribute to relations between the two countries and also bind together the people of Turkey and Jordan,” said Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) head Serdar Cam during his visit to the capital Amman on Feb. 18.
Cam visited the Hejaz Railway Amman Station to observe the ongoing project—signed in 2016—that includes building a museum for the historic railway, which will showcase pictures of how the historic line was built.
The Jordanian Hejaz Railway, which connects Damascus and Amman to Medina, Saudi Arabia, has made the spiritual journey easier for Muslim pilgrims.
The Hejaz Railway line—one of the oldest in the region and in the world—has enabled pilgrims to drastically cut their travel time, from three months to less than three days.