The first railway to be built in Lebanon, the Riyak train station is now an abandoned station that offers a glimpse of past travels in an astonishly preserved-but-unkept setting.
One of the many-abandoned train stations In Lebanon, the Riyak train station was the first railway to be built in 1891. Connecting Beirut to Damascus, the route flourished for close to a century before it had to be shut down due to the Lebanese civil war in 1976. Throughout its operational course, the Riyak train station served multiple purposes, including designing and building airplanes for the French military in conjunction with the still present nearby Riyak airbase.
You may need a special permission slip to visit the grounds but nothing can prevent you from getting an overview of it from the nearby road. There is also a Lebanese restaurant that is two-steps away from the station, which offers a vantage point for viewing. While you may feel an itch to explore every nook and cranny in the station, getting a birds ‘eye view is plenty satisfying.
From the rusted locomotives to the abandoned factories, the setting seems frozen in time; a ghost station that one can easily imagine hunted by travellers past. Talks of a museum, a documentary and other projects have been in the air for some time but until then, do not miss the opportunity to catch a glimpse of this historical landmark!