When the Germans got back to Benghazi in 1942 they found the railway in Benghazi, which ran a distance of 130km to Barce, in a bad condition and only one diesel locomotive was operating in Benghazi harbour. The line was blocked by destroyed trucks and locomotives but was cleared and was due to start operating on 4 April. But on that day a section of the line near Benina, about 40km from Benghazi, was destroyed and a locomotive damaged by an explosion, the cause of which was not known. The line was not repaired until 6 April, when the first train ran early that morning. Barce station was also cleared and could be used.
In an attack during the night of 7 April on the O.Qu. camp, thought to be possibly an assassination attempt as the Qu.2 camp was completely burned out, another explosion affected about 25km of the line, although the damage was repaired by the following evening. By 14 April the Germans had managed to patch up two locomotives which the British had left behind. Initially the Italians displayed no interest in the railway and German labour was used exclusively to get it working again. On 16 April the first shipment of 140 tons of ammunition was transported, with each train having a capacity of up to 150 tons. In twenty working days during April 1,306 tons of goods and 114 passengers were carried, an average of about 65 tons per day, in spite of the "primitive conditions."
By the beginning of May the two locomotives repaired during April were operating in Benghazi. The Italians handed over a third to the Germans at Tripoli on 3 May, which had to be brought overland to Benghazi on a German deep bed trailer. It set out on 8 May, and when operating it was estimated that the capacity of the railway would be increased by 100 tons per day. The special advantage of the railway was its proximity to Benghazi harbour, so that fewer trucks had to be used to transfer goods from ship to train. But railway personnel were scarce and since the Germans had no trained staff of their own they were compelled to rely on a few Arabs. Trained drivers in particular were needed and O.Qu. Rom was asked to send out at least one platoon of railway engineers immediately, bearing in mind the possibility that the Mersa Matruh-Sollum-Tobruk railway might also be acquired before long.
During June 1942 1638 tons of ammunition, 1744 tons of fuel, 95 tons of provisions, 35 tons of other goods, 986 tons of Italian goods and 638 passengers were carried by the Benghazi-Barce railway. In the three months April, May and June 2578 tons of ammunition, 3649 tons of fuel and 95 tons of provisions were carried.
On 8 July the Benghazi-Barce railway, which no longer possessed great strategical importance, was taken over by an Italian owned private firm.
Because more traffic was coming to Benghazi, on 10 September 1942 the Italians made available all their railway trucks for German transport and by the end of September the narrow gauge line between Benghazi-Barce was being used more than ever before, with a daily performance of 50-60 tons.
When the British captured Benghasi in November 1942, two steam engines and 250 wagons, each with a capacity of seven tons, were captured intact on the narrow gauge railway. The first train ran again on 5 December, clearing supplies from the docks to depots, and it was hoped that another five steam and two diesel engines would also be put into service in the near future.
About the use of the [near]Tobruk-el Alamein railroad after the occupation of Tobruk (21 June 1942), the British were able to withdraw almost the complete rolling stock including their steam locomotives. But after that 30 Italian shunters (small locomotives) and later 8 German locomotives (all diesel-driven) were brought in, full operation was restored on 8 Aug. 1942.
Rail transport capacity between Tobruk, Marsa Matruh and el Daba (near el Alamein) was around 7,000 metric tons/month. Not that much if compared to the about 10,000 trucks with an average load of 2.7 t, but it helped to save fuel.