The UfM-labelled project “Jordanian National Railway Project as Part of a Regional Railway Network”, will allow for the integration of the Jordanian railway system with the regional network.

Source: Union for the Mediterranean

Easy and safe mobility of flow of goods and people on land and sea is essential for maintaining peaceful relations and enhancing regional trade. Close integration between the transport markets of the Mediterranean can make transport connections faster, cheaper and efficient to the benefit of citizens and business opportunities.

In this context, the construction and development of railway connections between the countries of the region becomes an indispensable part of the infrastructure work that needs to be undertaken.

Today, the Jordanian railway network consists only of 120 km of single metric track railway line (Narrow Gauge), and is reaching its lifetime. A change of strategy satisfying Jordanian mass and freight transport, both domestic and transnational, is needed. To this effect, the Government of Jordan plans to construct a new Standard Gauge national railway network.

The “North-South Corridor” from the Syrian Border to the Port of Aqaba (509 km), is the main rail line of this proposed network, connecting the national capital of Amman, the surrounding logistics centres and the nation’s gateway port of Aqaba. The North‐South Line further extends to the north of Amman to connect with Syria.This Corridor, which has been identified as the “regional” component of the Jordanian Railway Network, is of utmost relevance for the future Trans-Mediterranean Transport Network, established within the EuroMed structure. The project’s proposal was submitted to the UfM by the Ministry of Transport of Jordan and received the UfM label in December, 2012.

As the Corridor is the first phase and the backbone of the project, the links to the neighbouring countries are foreseen for later stages. Through the project, the connection of the region to Turkey and Europe on one hand, and to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries on the other, will be realized eventually.

First phase
The Corridor includes a rail link between Aqaba Port and the country’s largest phosphate mine of Shidiya, which is currently in operation. Construction of this first phase of the project is expected to start in 2013. Once it is finished, phosphate will be transferred directly from Shidiya Mine to the proposed Wadi Yutum station and to the new South Terminal of the Port of Aqaba.

Second phase:

On a second phase, the planned construction of the new Standard Gauge rail section between the new South Terminal of Aqaba Port and the Shidiya Mine embranchment, as well as the northern extension to the border with Syria, will follow. The realization of the North-South Corridor is expected to be finished in 2017.

The project’s outcome will have a multiplying effect for the rest of the Mediterranean region and for Europe as a whole, enabling increased mobility among the populations, facilitating international freight flows and business opportunities.

With this project, the UfM aims to achieve a balanced approach towards the two modes of transport, namely road and railway, as well as symmetry between the Maghreb and Mashreq regions, through the projects “Completion of the Central Section of the Trans-Maghreb Motorway Axis” and the “Jordanian National Railway Project as Part of a Regional Railway Network”.