Turkmenistan to rebuild railway link to Afghanistan


ASHGABAT (TCA) — A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed in Ashgabat between the Ministry of Railway Transport of Turkmenistan and the Afghanistan Railway Authority for a major overhaul of the railway line from the Turkmen station of Serkhetabat to the Afghan border station of Torghundi, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported. The modernization project provides for total rebuilding of the section that will be financed entirely by Turkmenistan. The project includes the construction of a 13-km-long railway track and modern infrastructure.

With this project, Afghanistan’s transport network will be linked to Turkmenistan’s railway system via the border station of Torghundi with access to third countries.

The Memorandum is based on economic, historical and cultural ties between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, and the successfully completed Atamyrat-Ymamnazar-Aqina railway project that has substantially contributed to promoting trade and economic relations between the two neighboring countries, increasing trade turnover and rail freight transit.

The new project will enhance the border station’s handling capacity, and will increase its importance for landlocked Afghanistan’s trade turnover. The modernized track will ensure the most convenient and reliable way for the country to export domestic products to foreign markets and import goods from abroad.

It is part of the large-scale project of construction of a railway from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan (its first phase, the Atamyrat-Ymamnazar-Aqina Railway, was completed last autumn). Today, the two countries are closely collaborating on the issue to continue the project in Afghanistan. In the long term, the railway is planned to reach the border of Tajikistan and become a significant part of the Asian International Railway Corridor.

Sergey Kwan