Afghanistan is planning to build a large-scale railway network in order to increase regional connectivity, transit, and transfers, Anadolu news agency reported on Monday, citing a statement from the office of Afghanistan’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs.
The Mazar-e-Sharif-Herat-Kandahar Railway Project has been approved by the country's Economic Commission and will be funded solely by domestic revenue. Upon completion, the 1,468-kilometer-long network will pass through 37 districts of nine Afghan provinces, connecting East Asia with Iran, Türkiye, and Europe. The railway aims to create the “shortest and most economical” route between Moscow and New Delhi, connecting Russia and Central Asia with South Asia, and Afghanistan with Iran's Chabahar and Bandar Abbas ports, Pakistan's Karachi and Gwadar ports.
The project will be completed in two phases, with the first phase spanning 657 km and the second phase spanning 811 km. Work on the first phase of the project is set to begin this year.
On February 18, representatives of the Gerat branch of the Afghan Railway Authority met with Türkmendemirýollary (Turkmen Railways) agency delegation and agreed to increase the volume of cargo transportation on the Serkhetabad - Torghundi railway line.