Afghanistan has bought two locomotives of its own, according to a recent report about the Hairatan – Mazar-i-Sharif railway. This is significant because these are probably Afghanistan’s very first mainline locomotives.
Afghanistan is expected to eventually take control of the railroad. It has already assumed responsibility for some tasks and purchased its first two locomotives.
Source: U.S. works to get Afghans on track with rail network, Drew Brooks, Fayetteville Observer, 2 May 2014.
Until now, rail operations in Afghanistan have (as far as I know) always been handled by Soviet and subsequently Uzbek/Turkmen railways locomotives from across the border.
But what are the two Afghan locos?
A recent BBC Pashto video about Hairatan showed a couple of diesel locomotives of a type I’ve not previously spotted in images of Afghanistan (at about 1:10 in the video):
Russian enthusiast website Trainpix lists ТГМ4Б-0180 as having been built by the Lyudinovskiy Locomotive Works (now part of the Sinara Group) in 1990. As of 2013, it was owned by locomotive repair company Remzheldorteh at Yaroslavl in Russia, where it was for sale.
So I wonder if the video shows one (or both) of the two locos which Afghanistan has bought? It would make sense for the Afghan locos to be shunters, as all long-distance rail traffic on the Hairatan line has to go to or from Uzbekistan anyway, so may as well use Uzbek locos.
Unfortunately the number of the second loco in the video is not legible, and I don’t know what the presenter says about them, as I don’t speak the language.
If anyone has any more information about these two locomotives, I’d be very keen to hear from you!