Economy, Business And Markets

3rd Phase of Khawf-Herat Railroad Complete

3rd Phase of Khawf-Herat  Railroad Complete3rd Phase of Khawf-Herat  Railroad Complete

Afghanistan's Ministry of Urban Development and Housing says the third phase of the Khawf-Herat railroad will be completed by the end of the week.

The phase, which is 62km long, connects Iran with Ghoriyan district in Herat city of Afghanistan and was built with financial support from the Iranian government, Afghanistan's online business news source reported.

Iranian officials had said earlier that the third phase of the project would cost $50 million. The first and second phases are in Iranian territory and were constructed by the government.

According to the Afghan ministry, the fourth phase of the project (connecting Ghoriyan district to Herat) will be funded by Italy.

Preliminary studies of the fourth phase have begun and will be completed at a total cost of $90 million.

Starting from Khawf in northeast Iran, the 191km railway will pass through Ghoriyan and Zindijan and continue to Herat airport. It will connect Iran to Central Asia and  help Afghan traders to tap other big markets for import and export.

The new railroad is expected revolutionize the Afghan economic landscape as it will provide the war-ravaged country access to the Turkey-Europe railway network and Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf.

Experts believe the railroad will also help strengthen Afghan-Iran ties and will prove to be vital for regional security.

This is the second railway after Hairatan-Mazar that connects Afghanistan to Iran. Work on the Khawf-Herat railway started in 2007 but faced many delays.