View Full Version : New Afghan railroad


Afghan_Soldier
05-25-2010, 01:08 PM
New Afghan railroad to boost trade and supply troops

25 May 2010 12:06:20 GMT

Source: Reuters
Line runs from Mazar-i-Sharif to Uzbekistan
75 kms (50 mile) track will cost $150 million to build Railway could become Taliban target

By Jonathon Burch

KABUL, May 25 (Reuters) - Afghanistan's first railway in almost a century is due to be completed before the year's end, officials said on Tuesday, with the aim of not only boosting the country's economy but also supplying NATO troops there.

The $170 million project, the bulk of which is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will see a 75km (50 mile) stretch of single track linking Afghanistan's main city in the north, Mazar-i-Sharif, to Uzbekistan.

The railway, which only broke ground in late 2009, is due to be completed later this year and will greatly ease the flow of goods from the Uzbek border, which currently serves as a gateway for nearly half Afghanistan's imports, the ADB said.

"This is rather exceptional, usually this kind of project implementation takes three to four years, so this is very fast and very expeditious," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters during a visit to the Afghan capital on Tuesday.

While acknowledging the current stretch of railway may be modest, the ADB says the plan is to eventually extend the connection southwest to the city of Herat and south to Kandahar city, linking the network to Iran and Pakistan.

A separate Iranian-funded line is being built from Herat to the Iran border, which will eventually link Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, although that project has been met with delays. Although the new line is being dubbed Afghanistan's first railroad, the country did briefly have a short stretch of rail during the 1920's when King Amanullah, who sought to modernise his country, built a 7km (4 mile) steam train link, connecting his palace in Darrulaman with Kabul city.

That line soon fell into disrepair and the only reminder today is the rusting shell of one of the locomotives sitting in the grounds of Kabul's museum.

NEW BEGINING

"This is just the beginning of railroad construction in this country," said Kuroda.

"Afghanistan is located in a very strategically important position. If railway links with surrounding countries are established, Afghanistan can become a regional hub for freight investment and various economic activities in the region."

The new line will also be an invaluable asset for the tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops fighting a resurgent Taliban in the country, by providing an alternative and improved supply line for shipments from the north.

"It can and will make a big difference. We can get fuel and other equipment from the north much easier into the area," said a NATO spokesman, German Lieutenant-Colonel Goetz Hasske.

Although U.S. and NATO forces have already been using Central Asia as a supply route to compliment lines that run through Pakistan, cargo currently has to be offloaded onto trucks once it reaches the Afghan border causing long delays.

The new rail link would speed up the transport of supplies to international forces, who have greatly expanded their use of the Central Asian route over the last year, mainly due to increasing insurgent attacks on their convoys coming in through Pakistan.

But with insurgents moving out of their traditional strongholds in the south and the east of the country in recent months and launching increasing attacks in the north, the railroad may provide an "easy target", said Hasske.

"Whether its the Pakistan border or a 75 kilometre railway, it's not easy to protect. You cannot protect it 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week," he said.
Hasske said there had already been some insurgent threats against the railway, but that security from Afghan and international security forces had been stepped up in the area. (Editing by David Fox)

(jonathon.burch@thomsonreuters.com; +93 794 354 074; Reuters Messaging:jonathon.burch.reuters.com@reuters.net)

IamDZJ
05-25-2010, 09:54 PM
i wish they had it for all over afghanistan. road conditions are not good financially no one is anywhere..and with the overlapping population things are already out of control.

IamDZJ
05-25-2010, 10:16 PM
it wont be long before they are blasted to smithereens again. i don't know about kandahar but i m starting to develop a serious amount of hatred for kabul. there is garbage laying around everywhere and more cars in the streets than human beings.
the roads are too narrow and those mountains are not safe.

Afghan_Soldier
05-25-2010, 10:38 PM
i wish they had it for all over afghanistan. road conditions are not good financially no one is anywhere..and with the overlapping population things are already out of control.

Afghanistan is merely a country of 35 millions, chill. Only Kabul is abit cram. Most project of such scale are security conditioned. We are still waiting for the Aynak project to go ahead, the Chinese firm is to build the railroad from north of Kabul to Khyber-Pass. The same rail-road now being built in Mazar is to connect Hertat and in the next phase Kandahar. Linking Kabul-Kandahar through rail is not that demanding at the moment. The main road is good enough to all transport at the moment.

IamDZJ
05-25-2010, 10:40 PM
^ i m sorry sir, i wont complain again.







:glare:

Afghan_Soldier
05-25-2010, 10:43 PM
LOL Don't worry I share the offbeat frustration too from time to time. I'm not a sir, madam.:eviltongue:

Afghan_Soldier
05-25-2010, 10:47 PM
^reallly?

Ive seen pictures of Kandahar on PF in the art section and kandahar seems to be looking like the most advanced city at least from the pics.

To its true potential Kandahar is lagging behind tbh, mainly due to the politics and security. I would say Mazar, Herat and Jalalabad are doing well.

IamDZJ
05-25-2010, 10:48 PM
sure ma'am. bye.

Afghan_Soldier
05-25-2010, 10:51 PM
Limay, tsa darbandi sawi... cheeri zey.. pate sa - maza!