The head of the Afghanistan Railway Authority, Bakht-ur-Rahman Sharaft, and a delegation from Iran signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday to expand their collaboration in the railway sector.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked in the western province of Herat, Afghanistan.
The Afghanistan Railway Authority stated that the two parties discussed enhancing their bilateral collaboration during the MoU signing ceremony.
Following the agreement, Iran has declared its preparedness to build the Khaf-Herat railway line. Iranian government representatives have emphasized their interest in resurrecting the Silk Road using trains.
Afghanistan and Iran opened their first rail link across their borders in December 2020. In 2007, construction was done on the 225-kilometre railway line that connects Herat, in western Afghanistan, with Khaf, in eastern Iran.
One of the four parts of this line, an 85-km stretch between Ghurian and Herat, which is located in Afghanistan and has two sections in Iran, has to be finished.
The first trip between Khaf and Ghurian, which will see freight and passenger trains, was performed by a train carrying 500 tons of cement. Iran provided funding for the US$75 million railway line connecting Iran and Afghanistan as part of its development support to that country.
According to Iranian officials, the former Afghan administration, which received support from the US, sought to link the Khaf-Herat railway to the Hairatan border and the country rail system of Uzbekistan to China.