Malta Old Railway

Nowadays Malta does not have an active railway – only some former stations and tunnels have preserved. But in the 19th-20th century it was possible to travel along Malta by train.

By the end of the 19th century Malta had been the only European country without a railway. The idea of building it appeared in the 1870s. Initially, it was expected to connect Valletta with the former capital Mdina and to cover the distance of 7 miles. During ten years the engineers proposed different projects of the future railway. In 1880 the newspapers announced that the line will be opened by the end of 1881.

But the construction faced some financial problems and it took more time that had been expected. The railway line was opened in 1883: the first train covered the distance between Valletta and Mdina in 25 minutes. Unfortunately, the financial problems were not over – in 1890 Malta Railway Company went bankrupt and the line stopped functioning.

Thanks to the financial support of the government the station was reopened in 1892. In 1895 it was decided to extend the railway and the additional route to Mtarfa started working in 1900. But in 1905 the bus routes were introduced and it led to the decline of the popularity of the railway. The buses reached the peak of their popularity in the 1920s. In 1931 the railway was closed because of having become unnecessary. The roads were had been built instead of the railway routes and the buildings of the former stations have become tourist attractions. One of such buildings is a popular sight of Birkirkara town. Located in the park zone, the former station and the station square attract the visitors by their beauty and atmosphere. Another railway station, located near Mdina, was restored and now working as a restaurant.

Years later the railway was demolished and converted into roads. By now no railway lines have been preserved – only two former stations in Birkirkara and Mdina, one restored wagon, some tunnels and bridges can be found on Malta.

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