The International Steam Pages

Steam in the south of Jordan 2006

Richard Gennis reports:

I first time I saw 85 specially painted with the Aqaba-Wabi Rum titles was in Amman on the 29th October 2005 and they got the loco out of the shed for me to photograph, this was soon to go to Aqaba.

I visited Aqaba depot on 14th April 2006 and 85 was there with the special stock, the next day the loco was due to be steamed, and a film crew was coming from Amman to make a TV advert ! The TV crew turned up with horses to make a mock attack on the train, but the Hedjaz drivers did not! To save the day it was decided by myself that the only way to get something was to push the train with the ARC loco 955 as banker and to stage the attack just north of Aqaba depot. This we did and the TV crew got something, I did take a couple of record shots of this (the pictures below were taken during this event).

Now before this date the loco had indeed done two runs to Wadi Rum and as far as I know this did not happen again. When I went back to Aqaba depot on 20th October 2006 the loco was waiting to go back to Amman and looking very poor, mainly due to the dust that had settled on the loco.

Also of some interest the station building at Ytum, just 5km north of Aqaba had been fully restored, as the steam train were due to start from here and not Aqaba itself!

Rob Dickinson