The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Opening Herat-Khaf railway to boost trade between Iran & Afghanistan

The Herat-Khaf railway line was inaugurated with the participation of several high-ranking officials from Afghanistan and Iran on Tuesday. The head of Afghanistan Railway Authority, Mawlavi Bakht-ur Rahman Sharafat, termed the opening of this line important in terms of developing economic cooperation between the two countries, adding that through this line Afghanistan will be connected to Chah Bahar port and through that to India. In the ceremony, governor of Herat, Mawlana Noor Ahmad Islamjar, said that the start of the railway line would expand the country’s trade between the two countries, calling the Herat- Khaf railway line an indication of the strong bond of friendship between the two nations of Afghanistan and Iran and stated that the local administration of Herat would spare no efforts in protecting the Herat-Khaf railway line. Meanwhile, Yaqoob Ali Nazari, the governor of Iran’s Khorasan Razavi, said that this railway line was the beginning of more economic cooperation between the two countries and could be a bridge between East and West Asia. The ceremony was also attended by the Islamic Emirate spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid. Pointing to important of the railway line, Mujahid assured that small issues would never cause division between the two countries. The Herat-Khaf railway line that was officially inaugurated this week will boost trade between Iran and Afghanistan. It is a 225km-long cross-border railway line between Iran and Afghanistan, linking eastern Iran to western Afghanistan. It is one of the significant infrastructure projects managed and completed by the Railways of the neighboring Iran and Afghanistan Railway Authority (ARA). Afghanistan can be also connected to India through Chabahar port in the trade agreement with Iran through the respective railway line. The construction of the Khaf-Herat line, which is part of the Iran-Afghanistan rail corridor, began in 2007. The Khaf-Herat line is a single-track standard-gauge railway with a track gauge of 1,435mm and heads south from Khaf and proceeds east, across a rugged and arid landscape. The maximum speed is expected to be 120km/h for freight trains and 160km/h for passenger trains, while the axle load is up to 25t. The new railway line will improve passenger transportation as well as export and import of goods between the two countries. It will also boost trade between the two countries and play strategic role as it links the country to Europe. The new link will transport one million passengers a year between the two countries and more than six million tonnes of goods a year. Samiullah Momand

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.