Uzbekistan has opened a railway line in Afghanistan

Business Materials 23 December 2011 05:33 (UTC +04:00)

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Dec. 22 /Trend D. Azizov/

State Joint-Stock Railway Company "Uzbekistan Temir Yollari" (SJSRC "Uzbekistan Railways") on December 21 opened a rail link through the "Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif" in Afghanistan, the source in government circles told Trend.

According to him, on Tuesday held a dry run of the first train from the border with Uzbekistan.

As previously reported, SJSRC "Uzbekistan Temir Yollari" has completed the construction of the railway in Afghanistan worth 129 million dollars in December last year. Were built railroad with a length of 75 kilometers of track gauge of 1520 mm, number of stations and station Hairaton remodeled.

The project is financed due to grant of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for $165 million and own resources of Afghanistan Government for $5 million.

In the year since the date of completion of construction, the Uzbek and Afghan parties resolved issues of traffic safety and legal issues. In particular, the parties signed an agreement for operation and maintenance of the railway company "Uzbekistan temir yollari".

The contract for operation and maintenance of the railway line "Hairatan-Mazar-e-Sharif," a term of three years was concluded between the Government of Afghanistan and "Uzbekistan Temir yuulari" in the middle of this year. Under the contract, the Uzbek side, regardless of traffic volumes, will receive annually more than $ 32 million.

In addition, SJSRC will receive an additional payment in the amount of eight million dollars, depending on traffic volumes, including $ 1.5 million in traffic volume of 2.2 million tons and 275 thousand dollars - for every 100 tons of cargo in excess of 2.2 million tonnes.

Almost a half of Afghan import, as well as a major part of humanitarian cargo pass through Hairatan port. Commissioning a new railway will significantly increase cargo transportation.

According to the Uzbek side's estimates, commissioning railway transport between Hairatan and Mazar-e-Sharif will contribute to the development of Transafghan corridor, which will increase the transit trough new railway route Tashguzar-Baysun-Kumkurgan.

Ultimately, this will help to expand export potential of Uzbekistan.

SJSRC "Uzbekistan Temir yullari" was formed in 1994 following the withdrawal from the Central Asian Railway. Charter capital generated through seven business units of state assets is 197.6 billion soums and 100 per cent owned by the state.

In Uzbekistan, the total length of railways is about 4.2 thousand kilometers. The railway falls 66 percent turnover in the country and nearly 80 percent of total export and import cargo.