Iran, Afghanistan gear up to inaugurate Khaf-Herat railway line
Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami said on Wednesday that the Khaf-Herat railway link between Afghanistan and Iran will be officially inaugurated on Thursday.
Speaking to Irna News, Eslami also said Iran had invested 2.8 trillion Iranian rials (US$66.5 million) in the project, which he said will boost infrastructural development in Afghanistan and help bring economic prosperity to the country.
This will also become one of the main transit corridors in the region, Eslami added.
#Khaf-Herat_railway is 191 kilometers long and stretches across 77 kilometers inside Iran and 114 kilometers inside Afghanistan.
Earlier this month a #trial_freight_train run was successfully completed and 400 tonnes of cement from Iran was delivered to Rosnak in Herat province.
A passenger train also carried Iranian railway officials to and from a meeting with their Afghan counterparts.
Construction of the project started in 2006 and was built in four stages – starting from an editing network inside Iran at Khaf.
#Railway_Gazette reported recently that completion has taken significantly longer than had been envisaged, with the latest section to be completed being the 62km stage 3 which ends at Rosnak on the road between Herat and the Iranian border.
The fourth stage is to be built in two phases. The first will be to extend the line to Robat Paryan and the second to Herat airport.
The #Afghanistan_Railway_Authority said the line forms one of its most important regional connectivity projects, as it will provide the land-locked country with a link to Iranian ports and to the rail networks of Iran, Turkey and Europe.
Afghan officials told Railway Gazette that a passenger service is also being considered and that studies estimated that passenger traffic could reach 321,000 passengers a year, and freight traffic 6·8 million tonnes a year.