Derelict Turkish engine on Hejaz Railway, Saudi Arabia. by Peter Stephenson

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Derelict Turkish engine on Hejaz Railway, Saudi Arabia. by 

This is the railway of Lawrence of Arabia fame. This Turkish line was attacked many times by British led Arab guerrilla groups during WW1. In the background are the remains of Hadiyah Station which was heavily garrisoned by the Turks. Much evidence still litters the ground; broken plates, bottles and old rifle cartridges for example. The train was toppled over to expose the tracks which were ripped up for scrap metal. This must have been quite an operation as the location is extremely remote, with no roads within many miles. The few Bedu tracks that get close are for 4 wheeled drive vehicles only, and camping out for a few days is a certainty.


  • mrcoradour
    mrcoradouralmost 6 years ago

    What a very sad end to a engine with such a history, I seem to remember, when they made the film with Keneth More, they use this engine.

    Great shot.

  • I’m sure you’re thinking of the film “Lawrence of Arabia” with Peter O’Toole. It was a good film, but it was just that, a film. I don’t know where they made it but it certainly wasn’t here in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was and still is a closed country, and foreigners, especially non-Muslims are only let in in exceptional circumstances. My own circumstances were that I worked for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Even then, we were certainly dissuaded from travelling outside our immediate working area, the necessary papers being very difficult to obtain. I was lucky. I had lived there a long time, I had contacts, and was able to wander about almost at will. This is not the only engine that is still out there. I can remember at least two more, and there are others in the engine sheds at Al Ula and Medina. My sentiments were and are the same as yours. I actually said on the video I made at the time, “What on earth have you done to deserve this?”

    – Peter Stephenson

  • WolfZorrito
    WolfZorritoalmost 4 years ago

    Hah, so there are more parts of Hejaz remaining !
    I found mine on


  • ImogenWalford
    ImogenWalfordalmost 4 years ago

    Dear Peter,

    I am contacting you from Lion TV in London. We are currently making a history documentary about the Middle East’s impact on world civilization from the Neolithic period to the present day. I came across the above image, and wondered whether you might agree to license us to use this image in our programme. Please let me know what you think. My email is imogen.walford @ Would you be able to provide a high-res digital copy of the above image?

    Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best wishes,


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