I have been thinking about the possibility of implementing a metro (subway) system to Lebanon, and what only seems feasible in terms of topology is a coastal metro system running from Sur in the South to Tripoli in the North. This metro system would have many possibilities and advantages. I think with the increasing gas prices, the failure of public transportation (not to mention awful hygienic conditions), a metro system would have the following advantages:
- It would generate jobs on many levels from the construction industry to fabrication and material, accounting, finance, business, etc…
- It would alleviate much of the congestion that plagues Lebanese cities.
- It will stimulate the economy
- It will connect the whole of the Lebanese coast, enhancing social integration.
Lebanon though does not have the know how in terms of the design and the implementation of a project on this scale. I think that though it could be subcontracted to any of the countries that have extensive experience in this domain. (I prefer Russia, and if anyone has seen the Moscow Metro system would agree).
This subcontracting should be conditioned though that all manufacture and fabrication should be conducted within the Lebanese boarder and at least 60% of the workforce employed for the manufacture, fabircation, design, construction, etc… should be local.
I do not think that a project like this is far fetched. I made a preliminary proposal of the possible routes that this system can take. You have to keep in mind the topography of the country, and that you cannot run a train uphill over a certain slope. It will cripple the system. The routes in the city of Beirut require some additional research.
Below is the preliminary proposed plan for the Lines and Stations. The total distance from North to South, not counting the peripheral lines is about 165 kilometers. This is really not that much considering that the CityRail that serves NSW in Australia is over 2000 km in length, and the Berlin system alone is about 145 km in length. In this respect, we can compare this system to that of the city of Berlin.
View Lebanon Metro System Proposal in a larger map
Additionally, land acquisition is not a problem, as there was already a train system in Lebanon whose property still belongs to the government. This also means that the system could be extended to connect to the Bekaa valley as the train line passed there as well.