'Khaf-Herat railway to boost Iran-Afghanistan's trade ties'

TEHRAN, Dec. 06 (MNA) – The Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Construction Headquarters said that the Khaf-Herat railway paves the way for trade development between Iran and Afghanistan.

Referring to the opening of the Khaf-Herat railway project in the near future, Saeed Mohammad said, "Afghanistan, with its 936 km border with Iran, is one of Iran's most important neighbours, but in addition to the structural and security problems of Afghanistan, the lack of adequate transportation infrastructure within the country and the lack of access to open waters have been major constraints on Afghanistan's economic development."

"The Khaf-Herat International Railway project has been defined to connect Afghanistan to Iran's rail network and to connect the country with Bandar Abbas and Chabahar Port, which are the bases for access to open waters and international trade. It also provides the possibility of transit of goods for Afghanistan through the corridor of the east-west and from the Astara border to Europe," he added.

Mohammad noted, "The Khaf-Herat railway is designed as a single lane at 160 km/h for passenger trains and 120 km/h for freight trains, connecting Khaf in Khorasan Razavi to Herat in western Afghanistan."

"Given that Afghanistan does not have a railway network and the Khaf-Herat railway project is the first standard-width railway line in the country, the construction of this project is of particular importance," he added.

"In addition to various fruits for Afghanistan, the Khaf-Herat railway project will provide the ground for the growth and development of Iran's eastern provinces, and will expand trade between the two countries on the eastern borders in the context of rail transport," Mohammad highlighted.

The 220-km Khaf-Herat railroad project includes four phases that are under construction. About 77 km of the project, which includes two phases, is on Iran's soil and the rest in Afghanistan. One of the phases that is in Afghanistan is to be inaugurated in the next few days.

The railroad project ensures Afghanistan's access to free waters and European markets.

Implementation of the Khaf-Herat railroad project will show the importance of Iran's position once again as it makes a boom in regional trade - exports and imports. The railway project will also contribute to the development of tourism.

ZZ/IRN84136969

News Code 166825

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