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.

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Kazakh flour sent to Afghanistan by rail

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

Afghanistan to China rail freight discussions

President Ashraf Ghani’s advisor on Central Asian Affairs said after a meeting with Uzbekistan officials that Afghan traders will soon be able to export goods to China via rail once existing problems have been ironed out.
[…]
“(In 2016) the railway line was opened at the Afghanistan border (with Uzbekistan) from China as a pilot project. This will no longer be a pilot project. It will be a transit route. The railway trucks that used to return empty to China, will soon carry goods (from Afghanistan). But we need to solve problems inside our country and the commerce and industries ministry should solve the problems,” said Kargar.
[…]
“This is a big achievement. It takes us one and half months to transport goods from China, but (once the railway line opens) goods will arrive at our border in only 10 days,” said the head of Afghanistan’s Railway Authority, Abdul Bari Sediqi
[…]
Source: Officials Tackle Afghanistan-China Railway Line Issues, By Zabihullah Jahanmal, Tolo News, 24 June 2018

Steam locos at Kabul museum in 1995

A 2 April 1995 photo of two locos outside the Darulaman museum by Swen Connrad/YumeVision.

The Looting of a Culture: Afghanistan’s Endangered Heritage
A young Mudjahedin next to a train engine and a coach in the backyard of the National Museum in 1995..Under the Rabani and Massoud government in 1992-1996, the National Museum was completely loot and destroy. .Kabul, Afghanistan.

Tajikistan plans route of TAT railway

AzerNews reports that Tajikistan’s Ministry of Transport has provided the government with a draft route for the Tajik section of the Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan railway.1 “The route of the Tajik section runs through the districts of J. Balkhi, Jaihun and Nizhny Pyanj”, the source said. “After the state commission approves the project, the feasibility study for the project will begin, that is, the length of the road, the number of bridges, etc. will be determined”.

Also known as Panji Poyon, Nizhny Pyanj is the location of a bridge over the river which forms the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan .

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