Kunduz cotton railway

There was once a narrow-gauge railway in the Consolidated Cotton Company factory at Kunduz in northern Afghanistan.

I can’t find any information about Consolidated Cotton online, but according to USAID: In the 1960s, Kunduz was the home of the Spinzar Cotton Company, which helped to make it one of the wealthiest provinces in Afghanistan. Although the factory is no longer in operation, Kunduz maintains steadily improving infrastructure, with a plentiful water supply and high level of literacy.1

Spinzar which means white gold when translated into English, was formed in 1936 by a group of traders. It was sold to the state-owned Miley Bank of Afghanistan in 1944, ultimately passing to the controlled of the Ministry of Light Industry and Foodstuffs.2 Spinzar would appear to still exist, and it seems possible that it might be the same thing as, or a successor to, Consolidated Cotton.

The Consolidated Cotton Company of Kunduz, 63 per cent of whose stock was acquired by the Ministry of Finance in 1955, is gradually adjusting to provide a larger ginned cotton base for Afghanistan’s textile industry and for exports. In 1957, it replaced the old gins at Kunduz with eight new British models each having a capacity of 1500 pounds per hour and capable of extracting up to 37 per cent by weight of lint from long-staple cotton. It has also replaced or increased the number of gins in the outlying towns and plans to add several new ginning centers to its operations. But the most spectacular improvements are those being carried out in Kunduz itself, a rapidly growing city with a present population of perhaps 30,000, where the Company has employed Unimac of Austria to build new warehouse and operating facilities including equipment for making cooking oil, margarine and soap from cottonseed oil. The old operations of the plant have largely been modernized with the installation of air-suction and blower systems to carry the raw cotton from the storage sheds directly to the ginning plant and to feed the ginned cotton automatically to the cleaners and the hydraulic baling press. A narrow gauge railway then transports the bales to either of two warehouses with an 8000-bale capacity each.
Data on plant and operations from interviews with Messrs. Fox and Meyer, Austrian and German engineers, at the Cotton Company plant in Kunduz, September 25-26, 1957.

Source: The Kabul, Kunduz, and Helmand Valleys and the national economy of Afghanistan 3


  1. Afghanistan’s Provinces Kunduz, USAID website
  2. Afghanistan Rebuilding Agricultural Markets in Afghanistan Cotton Production Assessment, Chemonics International Inc for US Agency for International Development, Kabul, July 2004
  3. Aloys Arthur Michel, The Kabul, Kunduz, and Helmand Valleys and the national economy of Afghanistan, (National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC, USA, 1959) p113

3 thoughts on “Kunduz cotton railway

  1. Most Urgent

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    We introduce ourselves as approved importers, suppliers and contractors in Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Telecommunication, Gas and Electricity department for the last 3 decades.

    We have demand of following:-

    1- Air Petrol Pre-heating system with Petrol Driven Engine (Qty)9Nos.


    1- Petrol engine driven, air cooled, 4-stroke 5.5hp at 3600rpm, recoil starter fitted with accelerator lever.

    2- Belt driven air-blower,supplying compressed air at a pressure of 0.2 bar approximately.

    3- Petrol tank with a capacity of 25 liters,slightly pressurized by air feed from the air blower.Petrol tank should have two outlets allowing it to work on two joints at the same time through two preheating burners and suitable for all rail section.

    4- Piping assembly for distribution of the fuel mixture, should be made up of:-

    i) Airpressure control valve.

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    iii)Two cocks to control the petrol supply.

    iv)Two cocks to close off the petrol distribution circuit.

    v)One cock to isolate one burner when only one joint is to be heated.

    vi)Two hoses completer with connection,each (6)meter long ,each with a non return safety valve and preheating burner should be suitable for all rail sections.

    vii) Barrow-type trolley with retractable handles,mounted on two rubber wheels,which carries the complete preheating unit.

    7- Preheating process duration should not be more than 15 minutes and the average consumption of petrol should not be more than 1.5 Ltr for one weld.

    8- The engine is only required to run at full power when two joints are being pre-heated simultaneously.An acceleration lever should be provided in order to match the engine output with the requirement of the unit.

    List of Spare Parts:-

    following spare parts are required to be supplied with each set:-

    Per One Units

    Ring Piston

    Coil Set



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    Manager Sales & Import

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    1. Mr Zahid
      We have a cotton gin factory in Iran, we would like to sell it to neighbouring countries.
      Do you know anyone I treated?

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