Afghanistan Railway Authority announced that the second meeting of representatives from regional countries will meet within the next two months in Iran to discuss progress of the railway project that will run through five countries, TOLOnews, Afghanistan’s news channel reports. The new line will directly connect Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and China to Iran.
Technical and economic assessments of the first and second phases of the railway line in Afghanistan have been completed and that construction work will start soon, the authority says. 50 percent of the total railway line will cross through Afghanistan.
“A big part, almost 50 percent of the route goes through Afghanistan. In fact, Afghanistan is the closest route to connect China and other countries to Iran’s ports,” the head of Afghanistan’s Railway Authority, Abdul Bari Sediqi said.
The proposed Five Nations Railway Corridor has a length of 2100 km and will connect Chinawith Iran crossing Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. An estimated 1,148 kilometers of the proposed rail corridor will pass through the Afghan provinces of Kunduz, Balkh, Jawozjan, Faryab, Badghis, and Herat.
The estimated value of the project exceeds USD 2 billion and the institutional partners are China, including the Bank of China, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iran, the Asia Development Bank, World Bank, and United States.