Talks ongoing with Syria to reactivate Hejaz railway

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AMMAN — Talks are ongoing with Syria to reactivate the railway linking the two countries for commercial and tourism purposes stated Zahi Khalil, General Manager of the Jordan Hejaz Railway Corp (JHRC). Khalil told members of the Lower House Committee on Tourism, Antiquities and Public Services on Tuesday that JHRC’s operational costs last year amounted to JD2.8 million, while revenues were JD3 million, Hala News reported.اضافة اعلان

Khalil added that the main source of revenue, reaching up to 90 percent, comes from endowment (waqf) rental fees, while revenues from tourism related activities make up the rest.

Khalil said that the contract that was signed between the Jordan Phosphate Mines Co. (JPMC) and the Aqaba Railway Corp. (ARC) was terminated in 2018, attributing this to “the relocation of the port of Aqaba, and JPMC’s switching to land freight as a main transportation method,” which caused a major loss for JHRC.

He added that currently the railway line is mainly used for tourism purposes, with three weekly trips operating between Amman and Giza.

Khalil said that Turkey through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is funding the building of the largest railway museum in the Middle East in Jordan.

He said that JHRC is working on preparing feasibility studies to build a line to transport passengers between Zarqa and Amman, up to Queen Alia International Airport, with a length of 65km. The project will contribute to easing traffic congestions and make access to the airport easier and safer. 

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