Skip to main content

Pakistan, Afghanistan & Uzbekistan Agree 573km Connecting Railway


Posted by

An Afghanistan vista of part of the proposed route

  • Trans-Afghan Railway To Provide Links From Russia, Uzbekistan Through Pakistan To The Arabian Gulf 

Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan have agreed to a roadmap for the building of a 573-kilometer route from Mazar-e-Sharif to Peshawar, via Kabul. The project, at an estimated cost of US$5 billion, will open Pakistani seaports on the Arabian Gulf to Uzbekistan and continue Afghanistan’s gradual integration into the Central Asian economic system. We have previously discussed Uzbekistan’s desire to use Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi Ports as a gateway to the Arabian Sea in the article here.

In Uzbekistan, the Central Asian, landlocked country, the deal has been called the “event of the century” by Tanzila Narbaeva, the Chairman of the national Senate, noting it as “another example of Uzbekistan actively pursuing an open and pragmatic foreign policy.”

There are however significant infrastructure and logistics difficulties ahead. The route traverses the Hindu-Kush range and reaches an altitude of 3,500 meters, making it one of the highest railroads in the world when completed. The route is a test of supply chain capabilities, while the ability to attract laborers and companies to work in Afghanistan will not be easy, where the Taliban still holds substantial regional power. For example, the Taliban recently held talks with Turkmenistan over energy supplies to the Taliban-held areas of Afghanistan and discussed security of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. That means money. That said, the commitment of Pakistan and Uzbekistan to the project also signals confidence in the continued stability of Afghanistan.

Another issue relates to the variable gauges of the railway and its connections with Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan uses the Russian, 1520mm gauge, while Pakistan uses 1676 mm gauge. In 2010, Afghanistan opted to build using the international standard, 1435 mm, gauge. Dealing with that requires planning, although China has been developing multi-gauge bogies. Otherwise, this means that any use of existing track must allow for reloading of cargo onto different trains at border points.

The implementation of the Mazar-e-Sharif-Kabul-Peshawar railway line will reduce the time and cost of transporting goods along the existing highway between Mazar-i-Sharif and Kabul, while power lines from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are also being extended to Kabul and across Afghanistan. A railway will reduce transit times by an estimated 30%. It also reduces the delivery time of goods from the Russian border (Ozinki) to Karachi to 16-18 days, and from Termez to Karachi, 8-10 days. Rail traffic volume is expected to reach 10 million tons.

China’s Belt & Road Initiative expertise will prove useful. China spent billions in creating the inland port at Khorgos, which provides access to Kazakhstan. At Khorgos, Chinese engineers created a system using cranes to move cargo between different rail gauges to bridge the gauge gap. China is also familiar with building infrastructure across difficult terrain. Just yesterday we discussed the Dongshan Tunnel, which at 4,200 meters is the highest in Asia, in the Qilian Mountains. China also has considerable experience of building infrastructure in Pakistan, and is seems likely the trans-Afghan railway will intersect with this. China however is not providing the finance on this occasion – Uzbekistan has announced that the Mazar-e-Sharif-Peshawar line will be financed almost entirely by the World Bank

https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2021/03/05/pakistan-afghanistan-uzbekistan-agree-573km-connecting-railway/


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed. Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area” For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number” Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell yo

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please help the deserving persons... Salary: Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows; Welder: Rs. 1,700 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.

A ‘European Silk Road’

publication_icon Philipp Heimberger ,  Mario Holzner and Artem Kochnev wiiw Research Report No. 430, August 2018  43 pages including 10 Tables and 17 Figures FREE DOWNLOAD The German version can be found  here . In this study we argue for a ‘Big Push’ in infrastructure investments in greater Europe. We propose the building of a European Silk Road, which connects the industrial centres in the west with the populous, but less developed regions in the east of the continent and thereby is meant to generate more growth and employment in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. After its completion, the European Silk Road would extend overland around 11,000 kilometres on a northern route from Lisbon to Uralsk on the Russian-Kazakh border and on a southern route from Milan to Volgograd and Baku. Central parts are the route from Lyon to Moscow in the north and from Milan to Constanţa in the south. The southern route would link Central Europe with the Black Sea area and