Fwd: The world's most ancient "railway" in peril
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From: Sofia Loverdou <sofia-l@...>
Date: Oct 3, 2007 7:45 PM
Subject: The world's most ancient "railway" in peril
The Diolkos, the famous paved road constructed around 600 BC has been
called the world's first railway. It was an engineering feat, used to
transport ships by land over the Isthmus of Corinth, Greece.
Thucydides, in his account of the Peloponnesian Wars (late 4th c. BC)
mentions Diolkos, as it was used to haul entire war fleets from the
Corinthian to the Saronic Gulf… Centuries later, Octavian also used
this route to trasport over land his lighter ships after the battle of
Diolkos is rather a forerunner of the tramway. Part of its excavated
remains bear the grooves made by the wheels of the trolleys onto which
the ships were placed and transported. There is also a part of the
monument where one can clearly see that ruts had been cut into the
stone, at a distance of 1,50m between them.
Although unique in its kind and rich in history, the Diolkos has never
been protected since the time of excavation (~1960), progressively
crumbling into the water at its western end. In an effort to save and
restore the defenceless structure, we have created an international
We invite you to sign and help preserve this historical monument.
Sofia Loverdou – freelance science journalist
Yiannis Balafoutas – Retired teacher, writer
More information and images in ENGLISH, at
[Note: the part of the monument with the "tramway" features is the
last image in the gallery section. Today, this part is again covered]
PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS PETITION - IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT, OF COURSE !!!