Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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The Trans-Afghan Railway Line: Back on Track?

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The Diplomat, 26 July 2022

A new attempt is made to construct a railway line connecting Uzbekistan and Pakistan through Afghanistan, this time with the Taleban on board. The project is facing a set of problems, however: funding, security issues and the problem of the tracks’ gauge. Uzbekistan is using the Russian gauge (which is also foreseen for the planned track in Afghanistan; and Russia is helping in planning the project), and the wagons’ gauge would be needed to be changed at the Afghan-Pakistani border; Pakistan uses a different gauge. The Taleban have approved the project in January, and apparently have changed the tracks’ planned route over the Salang (which would possibly have required the construction of a second tunnel) to an alternative one through Baghlan and Bamian.