Khyber Railway photos at the British Museum

A couple of photos of the Khyber Railway at the British museum website. As is all too common in Britain, the terms and conditions of the website are written in complicated legalese and don’t really give a clear answer to the question “can I use the image on my own website?”, so here are links instead.

Bagiari Cutting through the Khyber Pass

Photograph of a railway engine [2287] stopped in a narrow defile in the Khyber Pass (NWFP, Pakistan) with two persons standing next to it, one a local man and the other a European identified in the caption as Dr E S Appleby. A third local man stands on the front of the engine itself.

Photograph of a railway engine [2287] stopped at Jamrud Station (NWFP, Pakistan) at the eastern end of the Khyber Pass. Dr E S Appleby and ‘Guard’ Garlick said to be in the scene. The station name is visible in the photo.

Transport in Afghanistan

The craziest thing I’ve ever seen on a motorcycle here is a live sheep, bungeed to the back of a motorcycle, eating hay that had been thoughtfully provided by the motorcyclist, hanging from a bag on his back.

There are some interesting photos of road transport in Afghanistan at Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Transportation in Afghanistan at hotmilkforbreakfast, “A weird and unique look at Afghanistan”.

Herat’s influentials want the railway

The “influentials of Herat province” have asked for the completion of various projects including the new railway, according to a 14 October 2014 announcement from the new President.

President Ahmadzai: We Will Turn Herat into a Transit City

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai spoke this morning with the influentials of Herat province via a video conference.

At the video conference, Herat Governor and the influentials of that province congratulated President Ahmadzai on his victory in the elections and talked about their problems and demands in economic and educational arenas.

They have also asked for completion of various projects including Herat International Airport, railroad, Herat University, ring road and linking roads of the provincial center with its districts and handover of Salma dam for utilization.

[…]

President Ahmadzai hoped that Herat province would turn into a transit route and a linking brigde in Asia.

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Kushka to Ashkhabad trains

To Kushka by Camel is an excellent December 2009 article by Isaac Scarborough describing trains on the Kuskha (Serhetabat) to Ashkhabad route in Turkmenistan.

For incomprehensible reasons, however, the whole edifice stood. Trains arrived – generally on time – and left, only a little late. The pistachios arrived from Kushka, tomatoes were shipped to Ashkhabad. I only had to bribe my way onto the train once, and that was from Ashkhabad home. … I always got the impression that things were just on this side of completely falling apart. The trains hadn’t been repaired in thirty years, the rails themselves were rusting and a touch warped. Stations were little more than cement slabs populated by piles of sunflower seed shells and half feral dogs. Everyone involved was somehow a little crooked, there was always an extra man or two in each compartment and the conductors spent more time drinking tea than actually paying any attention to what the passengers were doing.
Source: To Kushka by Camel, Isaac Scarborough, This Recording, December 2009

Stars & Stripes in Hairatan

A report from Stars & Stripes about US support for the development of rail capabilities at Hairatan. US Army Captain Donald Moyer “estimates that Afghan rail is still at least a decade away from being self-sufficient”.

There are some good aerial photos of the railway facilities, including an unusual view of a TEM2 seen from high above.

[…]
In their 10 months at Port Hairaton, the five rail team members say that while much has improved, it’s been challenging to get Afghans to buy into the concept of the railroad as part of an interconnected transportation system, instead of an independent entity. Their work has been slowed, too, by bureaucracy: Several ministries are trying to have a say about the future of Afghan rail.
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Source: Work on Afghanistan’s sole rail line falls to five soldiers, Heath Druzin, Stars and Stripes, 24 May 2014