Many travellers to Malta do not realise that a railway system ran across the island and that many parts can still be seen.

   The railway opened in 1883. It was a narrow gauge line using engines and rolling stock that was imported from the Isle of Wight in the south of England.

   The line ran from Valletta to Rabat. The station in Valletta can still be seen. Crossing the bridge at city gate look down the right hand side and a small arched garage was the original station.

   From here the line ran through a tunnel ( used as an air raid shelter during World War 2 ) under Floriana.

   It travelled on to Hamrun station ( now the H.Q. of the milk marketing board ) and then to Santa Venera. At Birkakara the station can still be seen and a short piece of line with a renovated carriage stands in the park next to the bus station.

   It went on to Attard, past Mont Carmel and on to rabat. The old station is now a restaurant and the lovely bridge can be seen.

  During The Great War (1914-1918 ) a steep branch line was added to take wounded servicemen (mainly from Gallipoli ) up to Mtarfa military hospital.

   In the 1920s the bus system started to take over and the railway ( as with the earlier tram system ) became uneconomic and the it was finally closed down in 1931 and the lines ripped up.

   What a shame!! It would be a wonderfull tourist attraction.