Trans-Afghan railway to be complete within 5 years, says Uzbek official

Uzbek Deputy Minister of Transport, Zhasurbek Choriyev said in a statement Tuesday the Trans-Afghan railway Termez – Mazar-e Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar will be completed within five years and that surveys will be conducted from early next month. 
Choriyev said in a statement, delivered at this week’s meeting on Afghanistan in Tashkent, an orthophoto survey of the railway route will start in early August and will be completed by early September.  
He said once the survey has been completed a feasibility study of the project will be conducted, before a tender goes out for selection of the contracting company.  
According to Asia Plus, the railway line is expected to cover 760 kilometers, have 33 railway bridges and three tunnels.  
The estimated budget for the construction of the Trans-Afghan railway is $4.8 billion. 
Asia Plus reported that the Trans-Afghan railway project is gathering momentum as Uzbekistan seeks access to Pakistan’s seaports of Karachi, Gwadar, and Qasim, as part of Tashkent’s bid to diversify its supply routes and increase volumes of Euro-Asian trade.
Uzbekistan has already built a 75-kilometer rail link connecting Hairatan on the Uzbekistan-Afghanistan border to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan but it remains underutilized. Instead, most rail freight from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan is transferred to road transport near the border at Termez or Hairatan.
The Trans-Afghan railway project, first proposed in December 2018 by Uzbekistan, aims at extending the Afghan rail network from Mazar-e Sharif to Kabul and then to Jalalabad province, where the railway would cross the Torkham border and run into Pakistan via Peshawar.  Once in Pakistan, goods will be offloaded to connect with the Pakistan rail system and from there will eventually travel down to the Pakistani seaports of Karachi, Gwadar, and Qasim.The post Trans-Afghan railway to be complete within 5 years, says Uzbek official first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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