Photos of the Iran to Herat railway project

Some photos of the railway under construction between Iran and Herat province.

And some older photos:

Turkmenistan and Afghanistan sign railway agreements

President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani made an official visit to Turkmenistan at the invitation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on 21 February 2019.

As part of the visit, an MoU was signed for Turkmenistan to build the 30 km railway extension from Aqina, on the border, to Andkhoy, the first significant place inside Afghanistan.1 Agreements were also reached for the regulation of cross-border rail traffic, while the possibility of building a Towraghondi to Herat railway is to be studied.

Dwelling on the key areas of economic cooperation, the heads of state specifically focused on the transport and communications sphere. […] The Presidents highly commended the finalization of works and commissioning of the Serhetabat–Torghundi and Kerki–Imamnazar railway networks, and the Rabat–Kashan–Kalai-nau power line.2

[Ghani] noted the presence of big opportunities in different directions of cooperation including in railway transport and communication, having expressed the confidence that Afghan part would also take part in the construction of the railroads of international importance.

In this context, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani highlighted the importance of the initiative about the continuation of Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad to Herat, having assured that Afghan side would make relative work for the implementation of this project.
[…]
Speaking about the partnership in railway sphere, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani noted the future of continuation of construction of Kerky – Ymamnazar – Akina railroad as well as continuation of Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad to Herat.3

During the visit

Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) and Ministry of Transpiration and Communication of Turkmenistan, in the presence of presidents of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, singed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for construction of railway from Aaqina port to Andkhoy district. This project will be designed and constructed with the length of 30 km from Aaqina railway’s station to Andkhoy railway’s station by technical facilities and professional experts of Turkmenistan’s railway.

It is worth mention that based on the pre-signed contract between the railway authorities of both countries, construction of 10 km new railway for development of Aaqina railway’s station is in progress. Also during the official trip of the president of Afghanistan and containment delegation to Turkmenistan, two other agreements signed between railway authorities of both countries for administration and organizing of Tor Ghondai port railway’s affairs. The parties as well agreed to jointly assess extension possibility of railway from Sarhadabad-Tor Ghondi to Herat city.4

The lines in question are 1520 mm gauge, as with the route from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan.

An “Agreement on International Railway Transit Point on Turkmen – Afghan State border” was signed “on the government level”, and regulations for the organisation of railway communications between Serhetabat and Turgundy [Towraghondi, etc] adopted.5

Khaf – Herat railway Stage 4 Phase 1 approved

Afghanistan’s National Procurement Commission has approved the Phase 1 of Stage 4 of the railway being built from Khaf in Iran to Herat province in Afghanistan. Here is my attempt to identify the Khaf – Herat railway construction stages.

National Procurement Commission in a session dated Feb 18, 2019 approved the design and construction of 43 km of phase 1 of Part 4 of Khawaf-Herat railway from Ghoryan district to Rabat Paryan. This project will be constructed by a Kazakhstani Company from development budget of Afghan Government.

Khawaf-Herat railway comprised from 4 parts with total length of 225 km. The 1st and 2nd parts with length of 76 km completed recently in the territory of Iran and the 3rd part, from the border to Ghoryan district is being constructing with the length of 62 km, will be completed soon for operation.

Khawaf-Herat railway has high economic and transportation importance and by completion and exploitation of it Afghanistan could connect through Iran’s railway to southern borders of Iran and Turkey railway network.

Source: Design and Construction Phase 1 of Part 4 of Khwaf – Herat Railway Approves, Afghanistan Railway Authority, 19 February 2019

Third phase of Khaf to Herat railway complete

Local officials in western Herat province on Tuesday [8 January 2019] said that the third phase of Khawaf-Herat railroad has been completed and that the project will be inaugurated in the near future.

The fourth phase of the project will be implemented soon too, said officials.

[more…]

Source: Third Phase Of Khawaf-Herat Railroad To Be Launched, Nasir Salehi, Tolo News, 8 January 2019

Afghanistan Railway Authority on Twitter

The Afghanistan Railway Authority’s hitherto dormant Twitter account sprang into life today.

New Acting Chief of Staff of the Afghanistan Railway Authority

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

First meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization railway heads

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