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, opened in the 1970s for the transport of phosphates from mines in the Ma’an area to the port of Aqaba. Part of its route followed the trackbed of the southern portion of the former Hejaz Railway. The line closed in 2012 following relocation of the port facilities in Aqaba. In 2019, a feasibility study was authorised for a new 195km standard (1435mm) gauge railway following the same route and connecting Aqaba with an inland port at Ma’an.
Flag image from CIA World Factbook