“Afghanistan’s once teeming Silk Road border town of Hairatan, a door to Central Asia, sees few travellers these days — its decline a barometer of economic depression in the country’s north”, says AFP.
At this moment a freight train energises its way past me, just to remind me there are other people around. I briefly envisage Ringo Starr belting out a shit Thomas the Tank Engine line. This is truly off the rails though.
Two videos of walking over the Friendship Bridge:
A video of the Amo Hairatan Oil Refinery. There are no trains in the video as far as I can see, but a railway siding features from 09:54 and 10:18.
According to its website, Amo Hairatan Refinery LLC was registered in Afghanistan in 2012 by a partnership between citizens of Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. The plant was built on 4 hectares land, and has a monthly capacity of 15,000 tons of Afghan crude, which can be converted into diesel, gasoline, kerosene and furnace fuel oil.
A Radio Bayanshamal video about Hairatan. It is in Pashto (and is also available in Dari) so I don’t know what the commentary says, but it has some footage of TEM2-hauled freight trains and tank wagons.
“1950s Afghanistan Coal Mine, Miners At Work, Industry – Rare 16mm Footage” from Kinolibrary, which is “an independent archive film agency based in East London. Supplying high quality, rare and inspiring archive footage to documentary makers, ad agencies and museums”.
The video features some narrow gauge V-tipper wagons.
From 0:54 there is a brief glimpse of some trains in this ‘Linking Afghanistan to the World’ video from CAREC.
An Asian Development Bank video features trains at 0:38, 1:41, 2:36.
A BBC Pashto video about Hairatan and railways. I don’t know what the audio says, but there are a couple of interesting locos at 1:10 – ТГМ4Б-0180 (TGM4B) and what might be a ТГМ4А (TGM4A), two types I’ve not seen recorded in Afghanistan before.
This video includes a road crossing of the Friendship Bridge, starting from about 3:04 in:
This video starts with a black and white photo of the railway:
A video of the road from Hayratan to Kabul in 2009; no trains though:
Report from CNTV, 27 June 2012.
Afghanistan has completed its first international rail road project recently and is planning to hold the official opening ceremony soon.