An article about travelling around Turkmenistan by train, from Wilbur’s Travels’ On Track website. Will all too rare photos of Turkmen railways.
Introducing Acting Chief of Staff of ARA
Engr. Mohammad Zeb Montazer Maseed, on Tuesday (Sep 25, 2018) was officially introduced as the Acting Chief of Staff of the Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) by the Leadership Board to the employees of the aforementioned office.
Engr. Abdul Bari Siddiqi, Technical Deputy of ARA, congratulated the new Acting Chief of Staff, said that engr. Montazer Maseed is a professional and active head of the department. He also added that ARA has a special focus on increasing the capacity of its staff, which is priority development task of the head.
Engr. Montazer Maseed thanked ARA for their support and given opportunity as Acting Chief of Staff, and assured that he will not spare any attempt for the development of ARA and its personnel.
Engr. Mohammad Zeb Montazer Maseed having a Master degree in architecture, has previously worked with Independent Election Commission, and Political Division of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Source: Afghanistan Railway Authority, 26 September 2018
CEO of ARA Attends SCO Meeting in Uzbekistan
Mr. Mohammad Yamma Shams, DG & CEO of Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) on Sep. 20-21, 2018, attended the first meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries’ railway heads in Toshkent city of Uzbekistan.
Meeting was participated by the representatives of the member countries (India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) and the heads of the observer countries (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia).
Railway heads of the member countries highlighted the importance and significance of the meeting, and discussed the issues related to the growth of transportation services, increase of opportunities in the railway sector development, customs and tariff policy, as well the efforts to create new international corridors in the territory of member countries.
Mohammad Yama Shams DG & CEO of Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA), emphasized on the development of railway projects in the region and in terms of its geographic location, mentioned the significance of Afghanistan as a bridge connecting Central Asia with South Asia.
Source: Afghanistan Railway Authority, 23 September 2018
Conflicting media reports suggest that Tajikistan might, or might not, have pulled out of the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Tajikistan railway project.
On 22 September Associated Press reported1 that ambassador to Uzbekistan Imom Sodiq Ashourboyzoda had said that Tajikistan had decided to indefinitely postpone the project. The decision had been taken because improved relations with Uzbekistan since the death of its President Karimov2 meant the project was no long feasible. The line would have enabled rail traffic to reach Tajikistan without transiting Uzbekistan.
AP reported that Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry said on 22 September that it has formally notified Tajikistan that it did not understand the statement.
The Diplomat published some analysis.3
However, on 25 September Aki Press said4 that Radio Ozodi had reported that a high-level official in the Ministry of Transport of Tajikistan had said work on the project was continuing, Tajik authorities had identified a route and Afghanistan should decide on the route of its section of the line. “We want to have an alternative to the railway running through Uzbekistan,” the transport ministry official reportedly stated.
- Turkmenistan surprised by Tajikistan’s rollback on railroad, 22 September 2018 ↩
- Uzbekistan – Tajikistan rail link reopens, Railway Gazette, 12 March 2018 ↩
- Did Tajikistan Just Ditch a Rail Project With Turkmenistan?, Catherine Putz, The Diplomat, 25 September 2018 ↩
- Tajikistan Transport Ministry says work on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway ongoing, Aki Press, 25 September 2018. ↩
King Amanullah, Afghanistan’s reforming pro-Western ruler, gets a good look around Croydon Airport in this film, which shows the monarch inspecting buildings and airplanes, including one with folding wings that’s stored in a portable hanger. He also received some mail, written in Persian, dropped by parachute, and noses around a control tower. The king looks interested throughout, and is accompanied by a number of local dignitaries.
The railway from Khaf in Iran to Herat province in Afghanistan will be inaugurated by the end of the Persian year [=March 20 2019], Iran’s Deputy Minister of Roads & Urban Development Kheirollah Khademi told local media on 19 July.1
As always, reports are unclear as to exactly how much of the line will open, whether it will be opened in phases and so on. This is not the first time there have been reports that it would open by the next Persian new year.
- Iran-Afghan railway to be launched in 8 months: Official, IRNA, 19 July 2018 ↩
Kazakhstan’s Flour Was Sent On The New Railway Route To Afghanistan
On July 18 this year a train loaded with flour was sent from Kostanay station on the route through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.
The length of the route Kostanay – Bolashak – Serhetabad (Turkmenistan) is more than 3,500 kilometers. As part of the organized train – more than fifty wagons with a cargo weight of 3300 tons net.
“Kazakhstan holds the leading positions in the world for the production of grain. The main task of the railway is to ensure timely and high-quality transportation of agricultural products, including this strategic cargo. The development of transportation along the new route will increase the transit potential of Kazakhstan, reduce turnover and accelerate the return of rolling stock by 2-2.5 times,” Mukhtar Zhambulov, Deputy General Director for Operations of “KTZ-Freight Transportation” JSC said.
From the beginning of 2018 for export 4.2 million tons of grain was delivered, which is 56% higher than the same indicator of 2017. Flour was transported 1.2 million tons, which is 8% more than in the past year.
Products of Kazakhstan agricultural producers are sent mainly to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Source: Kazakhstan’s Flour Was Sent On The New Railway Route To Afghanistan, KTZ press office, 18 July 2018