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Jordan Railway Assessment


A National Rail System was approved by the Jordanian Government which will connect all major cities and towns by passenger and cargo rail. There are two lines to be constructed. The North-South Line passing through Mafraq, Zarqa, Amman, Maan, and Aqaba with international connections to Syria and Saudi Arabia. The East-West Line will run from Mafraq, Irbid, and Azraq with international connections to Iraq and possibly Israel. The national rail system will be completed by 2013. These routes are planned to be electrified. There are also plans for a light rail system operating between Amman and Zarqa and a funicular and a three line metro system for Amman.

Two connected but non-contiguously operated sections of the Hedjaz Railway exist:

  • from Ammanin Jordan to Syria, as the "Hedjaz Jordan Railway."
  • from phosphatemines near Ma'an to the Gulf of Aqaba as the "Aqaba Railway."
  • 507 km from the Phosphate fields to the Port of Aqapa.
The Phosphate rail maintenance is taken care by the company  exporting the Phosphate, from phosphatemines near Ma'an to the Gulf of Aqaba

 Jordan Rail Ways

Total: 507 km - narrow gauge of 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 1132 in) (2008) Railway companies in Jordan are:

In 1908 the Ottoman Empire built the Hejaz Railway. That ran from Damascus to Medina. After World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the railway never operated south of Ma'an. The Hedjaz Jordan Railway operated the tracks of the Hejaz railway in Jordan.[1] In 1975 the railway built a branch from Ma'an to Aqaba, a port city on the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1979 the Aqaba Railway Corporation (ARC) was incorporated and took over the route from Abiad to Aqaba. The purpose of the ARC was to transport phosphates from mines near Abiad and Ma'an to the port in Aqaba. The ARC operated only freight trains powered by GE U17C diesel locomotives.

The Jordanian government has begun acquiring land for new rail routes. Following a study by BNP Paribas, three routes are planned, which are expected to be tendered later in 2010. The three routes are:[1]

1.   From the Syrian border, via Zarqa, to the Saudi border; replacing part of the Hedjaz Railway;

2.   Connecting the first line to Aqaba, and from Mafraq to Irbid, replacing another part of the Hedjaz Railway;

3.   A link to the Iraqi border.

However, in late 2010 the government announced an economic relief package and following the 2011 Jordanian protests it was decided to reduce the expected three year capital investment plan in the national railway network by 72 percent, partly to fund the relief package. Therefore, it is unclear when the ambitions railway expansion plan will be carried out.

There are also plans for a light rail system operating between Amman and Zarqa and a funicular and metro line in Amman.

Currently, two connected but non-contiguously operated sections of the Hedjaz Railway exist:

In August 2011, Jordanian government approved the construction of the railway from Aqaba to the Iraqi border (near Trebil). The Iraqis in the meantime started the construction of the line from the border to their current railhead at Ramadi.

  • 2005 in rail transport
    • Jordanian Transport Minister Saoud Nseirat responds to comments made on Monday, December 12, by Israeli Transport Minister Meir Shitrit. Shitrit had announced his intentions to propose a new standard gauge railway to connect Haifa, Israel, to Irbid, Jordan, passing through King Hussein Bridge and Jenin, a project that could cost as much as $300 million (for the Jordanian portion of the line). Nseirat responded to Shitrit's comments with a denial, stating that there have not been any discussions between the two nations on such a project and no plans for such a connection have been proposed by anyone in the Jordanian government. Shitrit plans to make his formal proposal at a conference for Mediterranean transport ministers in Marrakesh on December 20. The railway is still not completed.
    • The Public Transport Regulatory Commission has entered into an agreement with a private sector consortium, following a competitive bidding process, to develop a light rail system between the Jordanian capital Amman and nearby industrial city of Zarqa. This light rail project will be the first urban rail public-private partnership (PPP) in the Middle East. The system will be operated using1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) (standard gauge) electrically propelled light rail vehicles on a double track. The total length of the LRS system will be approximately 25 kilometers. The majority of the LRS route, between Al-Mahatta (in Amman) and New Zarqa will be constructed within the existing Hedjaz Railway right-of-way (22.2 kilometers). The Public Transport Regulatory Commission estimates that the new system will carry about 45,000 passengers a day in its first year. Canada's CPCS was the lead advisor to the PTRC in this PPP transaction.    
    • CPCS is also advising the Government of Jordan in the privatization of the Aqaba Railway Corporation, running from Ma'an to Aqaba. This railway is used to transport phosphate from mines located in Ma'an. The commission plans to modernize the old 1,050 mm (3 ft 5 11⁄32 in) narrow gauge railway and replace it with new track.

Travel Time Matrix

This Part is not clearly identified due to limit use of railway for raw potash.

Railway Companies and Consortia

1)    Jordan Hijaz Rail Way/ Amman

2)    Aqaba Railway Corporation.

Both above companies are managed by Jordan Government as per international tendering.

No private Railway companies in jordan