General information

Syria with an area of 185180 square kilometer, in terms of the geographic coordinates, is situated between the 32°37N and 45°35E. This geographical situation caused Syria to gain an important situation in commercial and political viewpoints and became the linking point of Asia, Africa, and Europe. This country is the connecting point of the industrial and commercial centers of Europe and the oil production centers in the Persian Gulf region. In case of betterment of the situation and condition in Iraq, this country could be a passage for the oil and gas pipes for exporting the oil and gas of Iran and Iraq to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. So that connection of the rail networks of these three countries could raise up the commercial significance of Syria; since trading through this way not only will be faster but also the oil importers will not be forced to pay taxes of the Suez Canal.


This country is connected, via North to Turkey, from West to Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea, from South to Jordan and the Zionist regime, and from East to Iraq. It enjoys a Mediterranean climate with dry winters and hot summers. The temperature and amount of precipitations in the sea sides or central and eastern areas of the country vary tremendously. Sometimes the amount of annual precipitations in certain Western areas reaches 100 cm. Also, Syria has got two important ports of Latakia and Banias.


Syria has a population of around 22.35 million people.

The Syrian Railway Establishments (CFS)

The rail network of Syria is 1801 km, with the standard gauge (1435 mm), being operated as single track. The lines that have been constructed in the railways of Syria are: the Hamas – Mineh - Sharghyeh route (1980), Hamas – Damascus route (1983) and the Tartus – Latakia (1992). 

In the future, the Syrian Railways (CFS) will increase the maximum speed of passenger trains from Aleppo to Maydan Ikbis (Turkish border) up to over 120 km/h and for the freight trains up to 100 km/h.

The maximum standard length of the freight trains on the Aleppo - Maydan Ikbis (Turkish border), Muslimiya – Turkish border routes is considered 350 m, with the axle-load of 17 tons. The maximum standard length of the freight trains on the entire rail network of Syria (CFS) is 600 m, with the axle-load of max. 20 t. within the next five years, the axle-load of the Aleppo – Maydan Ikbis route (Turkish border) will be increased up to 22.5 t.

None of the Syrian rail lines are equipped with the continuous welded rail (CWR), and all the routes have 50 kg/m or lighter rails. On the Aleppo - Maydan Ikbis (Turkish border), Muslimiya – Cobanbey (Turkish border) and Nusaybin – El Yarobieh, wooden sleepers have been used. The other parts of the Syrian rail network are equipped with the concrete sleepers. For development within the next five years, the lines of Aleppo - Maydan Ikbis (Turkish border) will be equipped with 60 g rails type CWR, concrete sleepers, and flexible fasteners. On the entire Syrian railway, diesel traction is applied and manual barriers are used at the whole lines.



Mr Najib Al-Fares has been appointed as the new Director-General of Syrian Railways (CFS). He succeeds Mr George Mokabari who has taken over the role of Adviser to the Minister of Transport for Railway Affairs.

Mr Najib Al-Fares, born in 1963, holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Aleppo (1987) and a PhD in Railway Construction from Moscow Governmental University for Transportation (1994). He studied railway projects at the General Company for Railway Construction (1994 – 2002) before taking up the position of Executive Director of Infrastructure (2002 – 2006) and Deputy Director-General (2004 – 2006) of the General Company for Railway Construction. He then became Director-General of the General Company for Railway Construction from 2006 – 2013. Since 2006 he has also been Engineering Advisor at the Syrian Engineers Syndicate in the field of railway studies.

Projects of CFS
The projects of Syrian Railways are divided into two groups as follows:
• Rebuilding and developing new projects for infrastructure facilities and construction;
• Supplying the rolling stocks that support the defined strategy.
First: Rebuilding and development of new projects for the infrastructure and construction

CFS intends to rebuild, develop and modernize its rail network according to the international technical standards for its routes and compatibility with the intended transportation volume and the current and smooth capacity on these routes as well based on the following points:

1) construction of new lines of the following international routes:
Damascus – Dera – border of Lebanon (120 km): this line connects Turkey to Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries via Syria, which will be completed in 2012.
Deir Ez-Zor – Abu Kamal – border of Iraq (145 km): this line will connect the rail network of Syria to the network of Iraq. (This project will be completed in 2010.)
2) developing and modernizing the following international routes:
Aleppo – Maydan Ikbis – border of Turkey (117 km): this route connects the rail network of Turkey to Syria at the route the goes towards Iraq and Jordan (in 2011). Aleppo – Muslimiya – Al Rai – border of Turkey (51 km): this is on the condition that the previous project is completed.

Al Qamishi – El Yarobieh (via border of Turkey – border of Iraq) – (82 km).
Akary – border of Syria and Lebanon (Tripoli in Lebanon).
3) rebuilding and modernizing the current rail lines of Syria, which are considered as the local basic routes:
Aleppo – Damascus (401 km);
Aleppo – Latakia (202 km);
Aleppo – Deir Ez-Zor – Qamishi (559 km).
Also, CFS has some studies under process on the other projects, which the followings are among the most significant ones:
1) rebuilding and modernizing the rail line on the following routes:
Hous – Akary – Tartus;
Hous – Maheen – Al Sherkieh (202 km).

2) constructing new lines to complete the existing rail network on the following routes:
Deir Ez-Zor – Palmira – Al Sherkieh (295 km);
•  Al doir – Al Sherkieh (via Abu Shamat);
Aleppo – Al Hasakeh (via Ar`Raqqa, without passing through Deir Ez-Zor).
Second: Supplying the rolling stock
The Syrian Railways (CFS) carries out some works related to the safety of the rolling stock, among which the followings are the key ones:
Developing 30 Russian locomotives, with 2800 hp;
Developing 26 American locomotives, with 1800 hp, plus freight trains;
Procuring 58 new locomotives of 3000 to 4000 hp;
Procuring 10 modern train sets for passenger transportation (under way); 4 train sets have put into operation since the beginning of year and the rest will join to them accordingly;
Procuring 80 cars for transportation of phosphate;
Procuring 150 tank cars for fuel transportation;
Optimizing some flay cars (6-axled) for transportation of phosphate carrier containers;
Rehabilitating and developing 50 German passenger coaches for transportation of passengers.
The Syrian Railways (CFS) is currently studying on its future needs to locomotives. The initial estimations indicate that CFS totally needs further 86 locomotives in order to achieve the transportation plan (foreseen) for 2020.
CFS also considers its future needs to wagons.
Key contacts


Ministry of Transportation

Minister: Mr. Ali Hammoud

Tel.: (+963) 113 316 840

Fax: (+963) 113 348 675

Syrian Railways (CFS)


Address: General Establishment of Syrian Railways Building, Alrazi Street

General Director

Dr. Najib Alfares

Tel.: (+963) 212 268 001

Fax: (+963) 212 286 915



Director of International Relations

Mr. Mohammad Basem Kaseer

Tel.: (+963) 212 248 394

Fax: (+963) 212 248 394



Statistical data of CFS



Name of the Railway (abbr.)



Area of the country (km2) million



Population (million persons)



Length of line (km)

Total length: 1801

Double-track: -

Electrified: -





Freight cars



Staff (million persons)



Train – km (million)



Passenger carried (million people)



Passenger – km (million)



Tonne carried (million)



Tonne – km (million)


Source: UIC 2015 Statistics



Syrian Hejaz Railways (SHR)

The Hejaz Railway was a narrow gauge railway (1,050 mm) that ran from Damascus to Medina, through the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, with a branch line to Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea. It was a part of the Ottoman railway network and was built to extend the line from the Haydarpaşa Terminal in Kadikoy beyond Damascus to the holy city of Mecca. It got no further than Medina, 400 kilometres (250 mi) short of Mecca, due to the interruption of the construction works caused by the outbreak of World War I. Damascus to Medina is 1,300 kilometres (810 mi).

The main purpose of the railway was to establish a connection between Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, and Hejaz in Arabia, the site of the holiest shrines of Islam and the holy city of Mecca, the destination of the Hajj annual pilgrimage. Another important reason was to improve the economic and political integration of the distant Arabian provinces into the Ottoman state, and to facilitate the transportation of military forces.

This railway with the gauge of 1050 mm is one of the two independent state railways of Syria. The length of Hejaz rail network in Syria is 338 km.



Syrian Hejaz Railways (SHR)



Address: N.P. 134- Hidjaz Station Damascus, Syria

General Manager

Mr. Hasanein Mohammad Ali

Tel.: (+963) 955 62 0478

Fax: (+963) 112 227 106


International & Public Relations

Director: Mr. Ghassan Hasan

Tel.: (+963) 112 245 471

Fax: (+963) 112 227 106


National and International Affairs

Director: Mr. Gassan Mohammad Hassan

Tel.: (+963) 112 244 630       Fax: (+963) 112 227 106


Safety Contact Person

Mr. Labeb Hamdany

Training Contact Person

Eng. Faten Al Muhammad