The International Steam Pages
Steam in Jordan and Syria, May 2004
Roland Beier's report from May 2004
follows this October 2004 update.
23, 71, 82 working , all driven hard and fast by the new young driver. A new steam service is planned from Aquaba to serve Wadi Rum with trial running shortly. An exceptional area! STEAM used on international freight for a whole week during the late summer.
A station master told Ray that "steam was used on 25 occasions in September 04 on the Dera - Damascus freight" (If no diesel loco available for the Damascus - Amman train, a coach is substituted.)
On the main system the tour used 91, 160, 260, 262 and 962 (a fantastic loco, worth a visit to Syria for!) plus 66 shunting at Dera.
90 used on El Hami - Fije plus the De Dion railcar. The El Hami - Fije section of the Beirut
line has 751, 754, 755 and 90 based at El Hami with 6 four wheel coaches and no diesels for the stub to
Fije. 754 was in light steam, spare for
90. The aim is to connect back with Cadem (not Kanawat) but it'll take a long time and can hardly be a priority, clear landslides and re-open to Rayek
(Reyak?). Don't hold your breath, but it doesn't sound like closure.
755 + 90 on the Serghaya line
262 near Ghazala
66, 91, 160 and 262 line up at Deraa station
962 in the Yarmuk gorge
Regular steam workings are still possible on the main line Damascus-Deraa as usually only one diesel loco is available for the twice weekly passenger train and freight trains which operate several times a week. If the diesel fails steam locos 160, 260 or 262 appear as a replacement, according to staff this is the case about once a month.
The four serviceable steam locos (23, 51, 71 and 82) were all in steam during our visit. 23 and 71 doubleheaded a train from Amman to Jizra, we did not continue to Quatrana because of a heavy sand storm but did the town section at Amman instead. The next day 51 was used on the section between Amman and Quasir whilst 82 did a journey from Amman to Ruseifa in the afternoon. Steam locos in Jordan are for tourist trains only. 23 and 82 were not in the best of condition whilst 51 and 71 performed well.
23+71 at Amman
51 at Amman
82 at Ruseifa