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 progressively resumed, until it became possible to introduce a weekly service of steam trains between Amman and the pilgrim destination of Daraa in Syria in 2010. These were suspended the following year as a result of civil unrest in Syria, although it is believed that some freight still operates on the line within Jordan.
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.
The remainder of the original Hejaz route (including the section southwards towards the Saudi border) is disused and, for the most part, destroyed or dismantled.
Flag image from CIA World Factbook