King Amanullah crossing the Polish-Soviet border

Border between between Poland and the USSR decorated with a banner saying Hello Shah of Afghanistan
The border between between Poland and the USSR decorated with a banner saying “Hello Shah of Afghanistan” when King Amanullah of Afghanistan passed through by train on his way between Warsaw and Moscow on 2 May 1928.

1922 railway map of Poland

1922 railway map of Poland from http://www.lithuanianmaps.com/Maps1922-39.html

Amanullah left Warsaw1 by train on the morning of Wednesday 2 May 1928.

Białystok station was decorated with Polish and Afghan flags. The visit of an exotic guest attracted people to the station, but the police only allowed people with special passes on to the platform. Representatives of administrative and military authorities, social organizations and the press started arriving at the station at noon.

King Amanullah at Białystok

The train arrived on time 12.50, as a military band played the Afghan national anthem. Amanullah appeared at the window in civilian clothes, when General Sosnkowski and Colonel Wieniawa-Długoszewski alighted onto the platform. Local dignatiories boarded, and Deputy Voivode Skrzyński entered the coach and welcomed the king in French; he answered in his own language, expressing thanks for their best wishes and admiration for the Polish army.2

The train then continuted to the Polish border town of Stołpce (now Stowbtsy in Belarus), where Amanullah changed to a Soviet train and was due to enter the Soviet Union at 20.00. The Times reported that the wooden arch spanning the tracks a yard inside the Soviet border had been specially decorated,3 as seen in the photograph.

There were further speeches, guards of honour and anthems at Negoreloye and Minsk.

Amanullah arrived in Moscow on the morning of Thursday 3 May 1928, and went to a villa belonging to the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs where he was to be accomodated. The King then visited Mikhail Kalinin and others, Lenin’s mausoleum and an official reception given by Kalinin.4

  1. Polish illustrated news coverage of Amanullah’s visit to Poland
  2. Król Afganistanu w Białymstoku, Włodzimierz Jarmolik, Kurier Poranny, 20 Febraury 2010
  3. “King Amanullah Leaves For Moscow.” Times, London, England, 3 May 1928: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 9 March 2016.
  4. “Afghan Royal Visit To Russia.” Times, London, England, 4 May 1928: 16. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 9 March 2016.

Map of the country between Sind and Candahar showing the course of the proposed Railway

Uzbekistan Railways launches ‘high speed’ freight services to Afghanistan


With the aim of supporting small and private-sector Uzbek exporters, Uzbekistan’s national railway UTY has launched a thrice-weekly accelerated freight service to Afghanistan. This ‘high speed’ service reduces the normal transit time from Tashkent to Hairatan from 5-6 days to 2 days.

The first of the ‘high speed’ freight trains left Tashkent on 16 April with 14 wagons, and an additional 36 wagons were attached along the route. As of 24 April 2020 four trains had been operated, moving a total of 218 wagons.

UTY said it accepts all types of cargo, and provides various types of wagons, containers and tanks. Payment is made ‘in any convenient form’, and the transport tariff remains unchanged.

Details: Information for entrepreneurs on high-speed freight trains, Uzbekistan Railways, 24 April 2020

Turkmen-Afghan talks in the field of transport

TURKMEN-AFGHAN TALKS IN THE FIELD OF TRANSPORT

On April 16, 2020, a video conference was held between the representatives of the “Türkmendemirýollary” agency [=Turkmenistan’s national railway], open joint-stock company “Demiryollary” and the Railway Authority of the Ministry of Transport of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

The Turkmen side was headed by the Chairman of the “Türkmendemirýollary” agency A.Atamyradov. The Afghan side was led by the General Director of the Railway Authority of Afghanistan Mohammad Yamma Shams.

During the meeting, issues related to the construction of the Akina-Andkhoy railway line, the work carried out under the project for the construction of the Turgundi-Herat railway were discussed.

The participants also exchanged views on optimizing transit freight traffic and wagons passing through the IRA, further developing of the transport corridor between the Lapis Lazuli agreement participating countries. Separately, issues of obtaining visas for railway workers and other issues were considered.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan

Trains in the Visiting Hairatan Port with Mitra video

The video Afghan Scene – Visiting Hairatan Port with Mitra / افغان سین – سفر دیدنی میترا به بندر حیرتان from “Toot” includes some railway action, including the presenter enthusiastically greeting a maintenance vehicle at 2:20 and a locomotive hauling an single Uzbek Railways liveried coach at 2:56.

Freight arriving at Hayratan

Friendship Bridge photos