Maps of planned Afghan rail projects

Asian Development Bank’s documentation on the 7th Ministerial Conference on Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation held in Baku on 19–21 November 2008 includes a PDF with maps of the various railway proposals currently active in Afghanistan.

Railway Development Plans in Afghanistan (2.2 MB PDF), was a presentation by Dr Wali Mohammad Rasooli, Technical Deputy Minister, Ministry of Public Works, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

One thought on “Maps of planned Afghan rail projects

  1. This is very good information, and contains one detail that should not be overlooked. On the map page highlighting the Hairatan to Mazare-e-Sharif link, it indicates that the planned rail gauge is 1435mm (i.e. standard gauge). It should be noted that the only country bordering Afghanistan that uses standard gauge is Iran.

    Standard gauge has long been promoted by the Iranians for proposed rail lines in western and northern Afghanistan that lead to Tajikistan. It is also the gauge currently being used for construction of the rail link from Iran to the western Afghan city of Herat. That link is being financed by Iran.

    Iran’s interest in these areas is quite simple. The people of northwestern Afghanistan and those of Tajikistan have cultural links with Iran and speak dialects of the main language spoken in Iran (Persian). For many years now Iran has been doing everything possible to improve their links with the people in these areas.

    Another thing worth noting is that a rail gauge of 1435mm makes the proposed link almost useless to NATO forces in Afghanistan. For them, it would be far more useful to have the Hairatan to Mazare-e-Sharif link constructed as a 1520mm gauge line (the same gauge used by all of Afghanistan’s northern neighbors). With a 1520mm gauge line, supplies could be brought by rail from Russian ports directly into Mazare-e-sharif without any change in railcars. If the line is built as a 1435mm line, that will not be possible.

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