The Gezira Light Railway


The Gezira Light Railway opened for business in 1925 and spluttered to a close around 2009. Between times it was almost certainly the longest 600mm/2 foot gauge gauge in the world with over 1000 kms of track in the desert like Gezira region of Sudan.

The GLR was built solely to serve the cotton growing industry which came into being with the opening of the Sennar Dam (or barrage) and the linked irrigation system. For many years cotton was Sudan's major export earner.

The line's motive power was always diesel powered, starting with WW1 Simplex locos, but the vast majority came from Hunslet, in various shapes and forms. Passenger service, other than a school train, was never offered.

Author Alan Keef visited the line in 1997 to discuss possibilities of new engines, and is one of the few people to go to the Gezira in fairly recent times. here he tells of the line's history and especially its equipment, as well as the linked stories of the building of the Sennar Dam, how J & H McLaren ploughing engines and tackle were used to cultivate the desert, the Khartoum Steam Tram and more, including political intrigue.

Much more interesting than I anticipated! 128 pages and numerous B&W and colour photographs, maps and outline drawings. Paperback.