Minister says Turkmenistan link is next

Megha Bahree of Forbes interviews Afghanistan’s Minister of Mines, Wahidullah Shahrani, about mining projects. The article includes this about the next phase of the railway plans:

Shahrani: Right now we have up the railway line from Uzbekistan to Mazar-i-Sharif, which is a big commercial center. This 75 km long railway line cost $175 million and was funded by the ADB. Next phase will be from Afghanistan to the Turkmenistan border. This is 257kms and will take three years and we expect the tenders out by early next year. Apart from this, MCC is also constructing a 921km long railway line that will link Kabul with Turkmenistan, Pakistan, central highland to Mazar-i-sharif.

Source: In The Shadow Of The Taliban, Afghanistan’s Mining Sector Is Open For Business, Megha Bahree, Forbes, 2010-10-21

One thought on “Minister says Turkmenistan link is next

  1. Two things will need to happen to make this project worthwhile:

    1) There is currently a north-south rail line between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan being constructed. This line will link Turkmenistan to all of Europe and North Asia without requiring travel through Uzbekistan. Until this line is completed, a railroad from Mazar-i-Sharif to the Terkmenistan border doesn’t make much sense.

    2) Once that line has been completed, a line between Atamurat (a.k.a. Kerki) in Terkmenistan and Andkhoy in Afghanistan must be completed. Otherwise a railroad going from Mazar-i-Sharif towards Terkmenistan will have nothing to link to.

    It has recently been reported that Terkmenistan has committed to building the line between Atamurat and Andkhoy. If at that same time Afghanistan can build a line from Mazar-i-Sharif to Andkhoy, and the line from Kazkhstan to Turkmenistan has been completed, the resulting system will be a huge benefit to Terkmenistan, Afghanistan, NATO forces in Afghanistan, and eventually to Tajikistan as well.

    Note: We would assume that all of these lines would be built to the same 1520 mm gauge used in Kazkhstan, Terkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and on the line currently being built to Mazar-i-Sharif.

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