Iran-Afghanistan rail link to be launched in months

Khaf-Herat railroad project is scheduled to be launched this autumn (Sept. 22-Dec. 20), says the deputy head of Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructure Company, affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

29 July 2020
ID : 22497
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Khaf-Herat railroad project is scheduled to be launched this autumn (Sept. 22-Dec. 20), says the deputy head of Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructure Company, affiliated with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Some 80 kilometers of the 220-km-long railroad are in Iran and the remaining 140 kilometers stretch from the common border to the Afghan city of Herat.

“The project has made 92% progress so far in the Afghan territory. As for the Iranian part, track laying on the route is underway,” Abbas Khatibi was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Besides the 80 kilometers located within its own borders, Iran has committed to the construction of 60 kilometers of the Afghan segment of this rail project.

The map shows the location of Khaf station in Iran rail network and the route towards Herat.

Work on Khaf-Herat railroad started in the fiscal 2007-08. The project is part of Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor. 

When completed, the rail route will be connected to the Central Asian and Chinese rail networks. This is estimated to considerably increase the volume of transit as well as passenger transportation in the region.

The corridor in its entirety, from Herat, Afghanistan’s third-largest city, to Khwaf, in Iran’s northeastern Khorasan Razavi Province, will connect Iranian mines to those of Afghanistan, while also connecting Afghan reserves to the international waters in southern Iran.

This will be Afghanistan’s first railroad link to Iran and the country’s only link to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. 

The Asian Development Bank said in a recent report that although Afghanistan has traditionally relied on Pakistan as a gateway to international shipping routes, recent trends indicate that 70% of Afghan transit trade are now diverted through Iran.

This shift away from Pakistan has been driven by lower costs from foreign ports and more attractive security deposit and detention tariffs for transit containers from shipping lines operating at Iran’s seaports.

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