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Afghanistan, Iran railways to be linked in early 2018

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Deputy Head of Iranian Railway Company, Hossein Ashouri said Iran’s and Afghanistan’s railways to connect in early 2018, Mehr, an Iranian news agency reported on Saturday.

“Iran has constructed a railroad till border with Afghanistan, however the remaining railroad inside Afghanistan is expected to be ready by 2018,” Ashouri said.

Infrastructure in Afghanistan is also ready, he said, adding that two railing blocks are being built in the neighboring country’s territory. “The railway will have two trucks.

“The sub-grade of one of the tracks has been laid by 50 percent, while the second track’s sub-grade is only 25 percent ready,” he added.

He added that connecting Iran’s railways to neighboring countries’ railroads is a priority for Iran.

In addition to that this project would boost the volume of trade and to enhance bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Iran and it would link Afghanistan with Europe, China and Central Asia via the transit corridor of Iran.

Earlier this year the top leadership of Afghanistan, Iran and India has signed Chabahar port agreement in Tehran, the capital city of Iran. Chabahar would provide an opportunity to the landlocked country of Afghanistan to have access to hot-water.

The three regional countries has signed a historic deal to develop the strategic port of Chabahar in Iran and agreed on a three-nation pact to build a transport-and-trade corridor through Afghanistan that could help halve the time and cost of doing business with Central Asia and Europe.

Moreover, Afghanistan has three railroad lines in the north of the country. The first is between Mazar-e-Sharif and the border town of Hairatan in Balkh province, which then connects with the rail network of neighboring Uzbekistan. The second links Toraghundi in Herat province with Serhetabat in Turkmenistan. The third is between Aqina in Faryab province and neighboring Turkmenistan.

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