Although Lebanon's train services have remained disrupted since the civil war four years ago, one part of the country has a flourishing railway line.
GV PAN: Old Steam engine at Rayak (2 shots)
CU Engine plate
GV PAN: Engine
GV PAN: 1906 steam engine pulls into station
GV: Railway lines with water tank in background
SV: Engine filling up with water as firebox burns (3 shots)
SV PAN AND GV: Engine pulls away along track (2 shots)
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Background: Although Lebanon's train services have remained disrupted since the civil war four years ago, one part of the country has a flourishing railway line. In Rayak, east of Beirut, an efficient passenger service is operated entirely with steam engines -- some of them nearly 100 years old.
SYNOPSIS: Steam has died out in many parts of the world, but in central Lebanon it plays a vital role for a railway company. The Compagnie de Chemins de Fers Libanaise uses only steam locomotives on this line, which connects Rayak to the town of Zahle 15 kilometres (10 miles) away.
A few years ago the line ran through to Beirut and Damascus, but the country's inter-city services ended after the civil war.
The engines - this one is seventy-four years old - are used principally to ferry the railway company's staff from Rayak to Zahle and back. About 150 workers use the trains regularly. But it's also an attraction for railway enthusiasts. Some travel companies operate tours of countries where steam engines still are used.
In Sibera, wood-burning locomotives are used to haul timber in the forests. And in South Africa, where coal is plentiful but oil in short supply, steam engines are relied on to keep the freight and passenger trains going.
Other countries using steam engines include India and Brazil. But in the Lebanon, where few trains run at all, there's a considerable amount of pride in the steam service from Rayak to Zahle.