Officials to inaugurate Khawaf-Herat Railway Project by December | So Good News
Kabul, Afghanistan – The Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA) announced that the construction of the Khawaf-Herat Railway will be completed within two weeks, according to reports.
The railway line connects Khaf in the northeastern Iranian province of Khorasan Razavi to Herat, the center of Herat Province in Afghanistan.
According to an ARA spokesman Abdul Sami Durani, the delegation will visit Iran in the near future to discuss the start of the transportation of goods to Iran, which has long been expected by both parties to increase regional trade and transit.
“A delegation is expected to travel to Iran in the coming days and will discuss certain issues there, which include cooperation on the railway, the start-up of transport and products,” he said, as quoted by TOLOnews.
Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Chamber of Industry and Mines called the inauguration of the Khawaf-Herat Railway important for the Afghan trade, saying that transportation via this railway will help the prices of raw materials to drop.
It will help “transportation of goods and reduction of prices, especially Afghanistan’s mineral exports to Iran,” said Sakhi Ahmad Paiman, deputy chairman of ACIM.
Afghanistan currently has three active railway lines for the transfer of goods, which include the Hairatan, Aqina and Torghondi railway lines.
On March 8, Abbas Khatibi, deputy chairman of Iran’s Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company, said negotiations were underway to build the 225-kilometer Khaf-Herat cross-border railway project that was halted after the Taliban takeover of the country.
“This project will somehow revive the Silk Road. It can connect the East to the West and play an important role in reducing export and transit costs,” the Iranian official said, as quoted by Caspian News.
The implementation of the Khaf-Herat railway project started in 2007, while the total cost of its completion reached 75 million dollars as of 2022. In December 2020, the presidents of Iran and Afghanistan inaugurated the 225 kilometer railway line.
Once completed, the railway will help transport six million tons of goods and up to one million passengers annually, run along the east-west transit corridor and connect China to Turkey and Europe via Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Iran, according to the report.
The project is part of a proposed $2 billion Five Nations Railway Corridor (FNRC), which will run through Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China, an estimated 2,000 km (1,242 miles).
According to the project, in order to reach China, the railway line should go from Herat to the Afghan-Tajik border and, after crossing Tajikistan, pass through Kyrgyzstan, where it will reach the Chinese Xinjiang province.