The first railway line in Jordan was the 1050mm gauge Hejaz Railway, opened in 1908 between Damascus and Medina (see entry for Saudi Arabia). The line was used by passenger and freight trains between the Jordanian capital, Amman, and Damascus (in Syria) until 2006 when services ceased. Following restoration work on the Jordanian section of the line, passenger services were gradually reintroduced, culminating in a weekly service of steam trains between Amman and the pilgrim destination of Daraa in Syria by 2010. Cross border services ceased the following year following the outbreak of conflict in Syria; today regular diesel hauled weekend and holiday services operate between Amman and Al Mafraq (about 65 km), also serving intermediate stations. Occasional steam hauled services operate, and trains may be privately chartered.
The Aqaba Railway, also 1050mm gauge, transports phosphates from mines in southern Jordan to the port city of Aqaba. Part of its route follows the trackbed of the former Hejaz Railway. A proposal exists for a new 22.5km standard gauge railway linking mines at Eshidiya with the Aqaba Railway at Ma’an, from where the line would become dual gauge to Aqaba. In the long term, this is planned to form part of a national network including a rebuilt Hejaz Railway and new international links.
There is a proposal for a 37km light rail link between central Amman and Queen Alia International Airport, following the route of the Hejaz Railway most of its length. A prefeasibility study was conducted in 2015 but there appears to have been little subsequent progress.
Flag image from CIA World Factbook