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

Tajikistan reportedly pulls out of TAT railway project

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.

References

King Amanullah at Croydon airport

Film of King Amanullah of Afghanistan’s 1928 visit to Croydon airport.

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.

Iran-Afghanistan railway to be launched by March 2019

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.

References