Thursday, 27 October 2016

Overview of Afghanistan Railway National Plan (ANRP)

Afghanistan Railway Authority (AfRA) was established in 2012 following the decree issued by the Board of Ministers of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Since the establishment of AfRA, our planning team consisting of experts from within AfRA and our counterparts such as some US government agencies, the US Central Command (USCENTCOM) and academia, has worked vigorously to create a comprehensive Afghanistan Railway National Plan (ANRP), and to advance the best interest of the Afghans promoting their self-sufficiency and economic independency.

AfRA’s strategy is to address Afghanistan’s economic and cultural needs for the establishment of efficient national transportation system, a system which is instrumental for economic growth, cultural connectivity as well as political stability in the country. The essence of this strategy is to ultimately construct 5186 km of railway track, and enable Afghanistan to transport minerals, agricultural products, as well as commercial goods within and outside its borders, enhancing its position as a trading partner across Eurasia and beyond.

The ANRP is underpinned by:
  • Commercial Market Feasibility Analysis (Business Case)
  • Terrain and Freight Rail Corridor Feasibility Analysis (Technical and Financial feasibility and risk analysis) and
  • Legal and Regulatory Framework (proper governance and facilitation of economic viability)
The plan supports achievement of the following Afghanistan’s strategic priorities:
  • Act as a regional hub for transportation of commercial goods, and cargo
  • Railway Network as the Mining Sector Facilitator
  • Promoting Infrastructure Development
  • Promoting Agriculture products and Assisting Counter Narcotics Operations
  • Promoting Population Connectivity both inside Afghanistan and in the region
The ANRP supports these strategic priorities by providing analysis and recommendations for four sequential key decisions to effectively expand the Afghanistan national railway and identifying critical path tasks needed for timely and coordinated railway development, operation, and sustainment to achieve the best possible, financially viable, national railway over time. The four key decisions are described in more detail, and include associated recommendations.

- Key Decision 1: Finalize tentatively-approved primary and supporting railway purposes
- Key Decision 2: Determine preferred Afghanistan national railway design
- Key Decision 3: Determine the most suitable railway ownership model(s) and AfRA management structure
- Key Decision 4: Determine regional connectivity requirements
These four key decisions are foundational to ensuring successful railway development and implementation.

The initial step in expanding Afghanistan Railway system was taken during a trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan attended by President Hamid Karzai on March 20, 2013, during the above meeting a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to establish a railway line linking the three countries. In materializing the trilateral memorandum, a 75Km railway line has already been completed linking Hairatan port with Mazar-Sharif.
To further develop railway lines in Afghanistan, AfRA is planning to establish its Rail Lines in two sectors. The Northern Line linking Iran to Herat-Torghundi-Sheberghan-Aqina-Mazari-Sharif and subsequently Hairata bordering Usbakistan. And the Southern line linking Zaranj-Delaram-Chaman-Kandahar-Kabul and Bamyan. Refer to the figure bellow.
Finally the implantation of ANRP will result in regional connectivity and positioning Afghanistan as a regional transportation hub, supporting trade facilitation, industrial development, and eventually providing Afghans with an alternative and efficient mean of transportation.
You can download ANRP Brochure HERE

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