Turkmenistan is to fund, survey, design and construct a 126 km railway to northern Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Wahid, Financial & Administrative Deputy at Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Works said in a 17 October 2010 interview with TOLOnews.1 This would be Turkmenistan’s second line to Afghanistan, after the Towraghondi line.
Starting from the existing 1520 mm Turkmen rail network at Atamurat (also written Atamyrat, previously known as Kerki) the proposed line will run to Aqina on the Afghan border, then run 36 km within Afghanistan to Andkhoy district in Faryab province. It is not clear whether 126 km is the total length, or the length of the section within Turkmenistan.
View Turkmenistan – Andkhoy railway plan in a larger map
Although the article refers to “Aqina harbor”, looking at Google Maps I suspect this is a mis-translation for a border crossing facility, which appears to be well away from any river – well away from anything, in fact.
The Turkmen frontier post is Kolodets Imam-Nazar (also Imamnazar etc), where new border facilities were formally opened on 13 August 2007 with assistance from the USA and United Nations.2
The railway project was discussed in July 2008 and again by various officials from the Afghan and Turkmen governments in August 2010, when
ministers also talked about the railway which will connect the Afghanistan via Shabarghan, Aqina and Imamnazar to Turkmenistan.3 An extension from Andkhoy could connect with the planned Mazar-i-Sharif to Herat line at Shirbirghan (Shabarghan and variants).
According to the Ministry of Public Works the railway will boost trade, help to grow the Afghan economy and provide Afghanistan with access to the Caspian Sea and Europe.
However there are no timescales given for construction.
- Afghanistan to Build 36km Railway in the North, Tamim Shaheer, TOLOnews, 17 October 2010 ↩
- Imamnazar new post control was opened at the Turkmen-Afghan border, State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) | 15 August 2007 ↩
- The Agreement of Support for Implementation of TAPI Project was Signed, Ministry of Mines, 30 August 2010 ↩