The Frontier Clasp and its Railways

…the British Indian government had just started making inroads to the Khyber Agency by extending it’s railway beyond Jamrud.

The Peshawar – Jamrud railway had already been constructed on which the “Flying Afridi” train service would make a trip once a day. This train service, part of the greater Kabul River Railway or the Loye Shilman railway project, was to be extended much deeper into the Khyber Agency. The initial survey by Captain Macdonald was to follow the upstream right banks of the River Kabul along the Loye Shilman territory till the village of Palosi on the Afghan border. Although less challenging, this route was scrapped due to political issues of the time with the then Amir of Afghanistan, Amir Habibullah Khan and also probably due to the sheer number of bends in the River along the route.
Source: The Frontier Clasp and its Railways, Omar Usman, Khyber.org, 2011-03-14

There is a map which shows the Kabul River railway.

Pakistan – Afghanistan feasibility studies

Peshawar-Jalalabad railway route

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways (PR) has completed a feasibility report of the Chaman-Qandahar railway track and it has now requested the World Bank to assist in the feasibility of the Peshawar-Jalalabad route.

Director Planning Ministry of Railways Aftab Akbar told APP that the PR’s top priority is rehabilitation, upgradation of infrastructure and lying of new tracks with an aim to be a hub of economic activities for regional countries.

[More about Pakistan Railways’ plans]

Source: The News International, 2011-03-28

In January 2010 a Chaman – Kandahar study was reported as having been submitted to the Afghan government.

“The tribes were very restive and hostile”

I’ve just been re-reading a fascinating book I found whilst browsing dusty shelves in a bookshop in Rawalpindi when I was last in Pakistan (1997). It is called “Adventure Through Khyber” by Victor Bayley … His task: to design and supervise the construction of a railway through the Khyber Pass, a railway which would eventually link far off Bombay to the Afghanistan Border at Landi Khana.

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