Colourised photo of Darulaman train

Someone has written a bot which automatically colourises photos that are sent to it via Twitter. This is what it did with a photograph of the Darualman railway. Note that this is just for fun, and it is not intended to be historically accurate!

Kabul New City light rail plan

A light rail line is included in the plans for Kabul New City, a proposed a new city 1.5 times larger than the existing one which would be developed between Bagram Airbase and Kabul International Airport.1

Accordng to Dehsabz-Barikab City Development Authority, “there is a LRT line planned on the main city road at the mid term development period”2


  1. The Master Plan – Strategic Plan, DCDA

Kabul quarry railway plan

And we are going to put down twelve miles of railway to reach a marble quarry, where the Ameer is going to quarry marble to build a new Cabul with.

Frank H Clemence, in an interview with the Liverpool Post which is quoted in the article “A Cheshire man at Cabul” in the Cheshire Observer of Saturday 20 January 1894.

Does anyone know whether this railway was ever built?

1950s Kabul electric tram plan

In November 1950 Machinery Lloyd reported:

Tramways for Kabul

Preliminary plans have been worked out for the development of an electric tramway system for Kabul which should open possibilities for the sale of British equipment. The pro
Source: Machinery Lloyd, p151, 25 November 1950, Volume 22 Issue 3, Continental & Overseas Organisation Ltd

Google Books doesn’t show any more of the article than this snippet.

And not long afterwards, Foreign Commerce Weekly said:

A tramway company for Kabul was formed in August to develop an electric trolley service when current is available with the completion of the Sarobi power project.
Source: Foreign Commerce Weekly, p15, 19 February 1951, Volumes 42 No 8, US Department of Commerce

Kabul never got an electric tramway, however it did have a trolleybus system, with Czechoslovakian equipment.

Trying to identfy places in Kabul

Does anyone know the location of any areas in or near Kabul which a British visitor in around 1900 might have called Chardchi and something like Indeptai/Indeppe/Indebbe (the handwriting is hard to read)?

They were possibly near the Kabul River and/or Asmai Heights (TV Hill) and/or the former workshops and arsenal.

New York Times on the National Museum of Afghanistan

The New York Times has a very interesting article about the National Museum of Afghanistan, which mentions the steam engines (and links to this website; *waves* to the sudden spike in visitors).

While the emphasis is on the ancient, there are more modern artifacts as well — including several rusting steam locomotives in the gardens. “We have them to remind people that at the end of the 19th century, Afghanistan had railroads, while at the end of the 20th, it did not,” Mr. [museum director Omara Khan] Masoudi said.

Source: Saving Relics, Afghans Defy the Taliban. Rod Nordlandjan, New York Times, 12 January 2014

While there were almost certainly no operational railways in the closing days of the 20th century, were there any at the end of the 19th century? It is possible there was something in a factory in Kabul, but I’m not sure whether there were any others. The steam locomotives in the National Museum of Afghanistan date from the 1920s.

“Two ancient steam engines…”

Some things that touring President Eisenhower and his retinue didn’t have a chance to see during their six-hour trip to Kabul last December:
The country’s only railroad – well, railroad equipment. Two ancient steam engines and tenders given Afghanistan by the late Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany. The train used to make miniature runs from the Parliament building to the palaces in the center of town. Now there’s not even a track and the engines are kept as curiosity pieces.

Source: Contrasts Plentiful In Afghanistan, AI Goldberg of AP’s Moscow staff, in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune of 1 February 1960.

Another mention of there only being two locomotives in the past – however today there are three locomotives in the museum. It might be noted that the Kaiser had abdicated in 1918, while the locomotives date from 1923.