Save the old railway track

MALTATODAY NEWS | Sunday, 20 July 2008

Save the old railway track

James Debono

Green Party councillor Ralph Cassar is spearheading a campaign to save one of Malta’s last relics of industrial architecture – the railway embankment and surviving track in Triq il-Linja, behind the Corinthia gardens in Attard.
Parts of the railway are literally falling apart, Cassar complained to MaltaToday at the site of the embankment.
According to historian Henry Frendo, between 1883 and 1931 Attard was a pivotal communication centre, being the only place in Malta with no fewer than three railway stations: one near Sant’ Anton close to Balzan, another up the road in what is now “Gnien l-Istazzjon”, and another further up in Tas-Salvatur on the way to Rabat.
The heritage authorities are aware of the state of this relic of Malta’s transport history.
In 2007 former vice-mayor Charlo Bonnici met the superintendent for cultural heritage, saying that he was aware of the problem.
The council also alerted the Works Division. But while two officials from the division carried out a site inspection, no action was taken.
Cassar suggests it would be a good idea to ‘devolve’ the embankment to the local council, but due to the extent of the damage and length of the embankment the expense to restore it would cost thousands of euros, something which a local council on its own cannot really afford.
“It would be a shame to let this unique piece of industrial architecture deteriorate. I appeal for urgent funding to at least stop the deterioration – I appeal for the superintendent of cultural heritage to put more pressure for something to be done soon,” Cassar said.

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