HomeNewsThe green light was given to the construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway

The green light was given to the construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway

On July 18, 2023, in Islamabad (Pakistan), the delegations of JSC “Uzbekiston Temir Yo’llari” (“Railways of Uzbekistan”), the railway administration of Pakistan and Afghanistan held the final stage of negotiations on the construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway. The parties discussed various aspects of this project, including mechanisms for attracting funding, construction, technical details, and implementation timelines, EastFruit specialists report with reference to the press service of the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan.

The Trans-Afghan Railway is a massive project establishing a direct rail link between Uzbekistan and Pakistan through Afghanistan, enabling more efficient trade and logistics.

As a result of negotiations, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan signed a joint protocol on the construction of the Trans-Afghan Railway, ARY News reports. Thus, implementing the Trans-Afghan Highway project has been officially given the green light.

However, the route of this highway will be changed from the original plan. The railway line route will pass through Termez in Uzbekistan, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Logar in Afghanistan. It will reach the territory of Pakistan at the Kharlachi border point in the Kurram region. The railway was initially planned to enter Pakistani territory through the Torkham border crossing in the province of Nangarhar.

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According to the Uzbek side, the 760 km railway through Afghanistan will reduce the delivery time of goods to Pakistan by about five days and will reduce transport costs by at least 40%. It is assumed that the project worth up to $6 billion will be completed by the end of 2027, and by 2030 trains will be able to transport up to 15 million tons of cargo per year along the Trans-Afghan Railway.

Pakistan hopes that constructing this railway will bring Central Asia closer to Pakistan’s 230 million people and open up opportunities for trade with the countries of the Arabian Sea.

According to JSC “Uzbekiston temir yo’llari” (“Railways of Uzbekistan”), all three countries “show high interest and readiness for mutually beneficial cooperation.” In February 2021, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan signed a roadmap in Tashkent to construct the Mazar-i-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway, and it was planned to start construction in September 2021. But, after the change of power in Afghanistan, the implementation of this project slowed down. A few months later, the interim government of Afghanistan nevertheless announced its interest in the implementation of the project, and expedition work began in July 2022 to determine the route of the Trans-Afghan railway and a feasibility study for the project.



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