geopolitics-00765
Iran-Afganistan raliway

The first freight train arrived from Iran to Afghanistan

The first freight train with 400 tons of cement arrived from Iran to Afghanistan on the new Haf-Gerat railway line. Transportation was organized in an experimental mode in order to identify possible technical problems on the route, and the official opening of the line should take place by the end of 2020.

Construction of this 193-kilometer railway connecting the Iranian city of Haf with the Afghan province of Herat began in July 2006. after unsuccessful attempts undertaken over decades. The first two sections of 77 km in Iran were completed in 2018, the third in Afghanistan, in the length of 62 km – in 2020. and much later than previously scheduled. The construction of the fourth site is currently underway, with the completion of the industrial park in the vicinity of Herat.

The Afghanistan Railway Authority notes that the line is an important regional infrastructure project, as it provides landlocked access to Iranian ports, as well as to Turkish and European railways. In addition, the line is part of the East-West railway corridor connecting China and Europe via Iran and Afghanistan.

According to forecasts, the volume of freight traffic on the territory of Afghanistan on this line will be about 2 million tons per year. Imported goods will include oil, construction materials, food products, grain, dried fruits, agricultural products and medical supplies are planned to be exported.

It is supposed to organize passenger transportation along the line as well. At the same time, passenger traffic can reach 321 thousand. people per year, and the annual cargo flow on the line as a whole – 6.8 million tons This railway is the first in Afghanistan with a gauge of 1435 mm and meets the standards adopted in Iran and Turkey. In addition, there are 1520 mm gauge lines in Afghanistan: 75 km from Mazari-Sharif to Uzbekistan and two short cross-border sections leading to Turkmenistan (photo: Afghanistan Railway Authority).