Jalalabad and Spin Boldak railway agreements announced

President Karzai visited Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on 26 August 2013. Associated Press of Pakistan reports that The Prime Minister also announced that the two sides, in the meeting of their finance ministers, had agreed on several projects on communications, power and railway. […] The two sides also agreed on establishment of rail links to connect Torkham and Jalalabad as well as Chaman to Spin Bolduk.

This is not the first time the two railway projects have been reportedly agreed in some form.

Quetta - Chaman - Kandahar railway map from 1893

Building a Torkham – Jalalabad railway would require reinstating the washed away Khyber Pass railway to join the new line to the rest of the Pakistan Railways network.

A feasibility study for an extension of the existing railway to Chaman across border to Spin Boldak was reportedly completed in 2010, after a flurry of interest in the project in 2008-09.

The concept goes back a long time, with proposals for a line to Kandahar in the nineteenth century.

Chaman station in 1900 and 2009

Railway station, Chaman, 1900

Chaman Station.

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.