Turkmen-Afghan railway line inaugurated

By Agence France-Presse and Staff

IMAMNAZAR, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on November 28 opened the first section of a US $2 billion link (133.4 billion AFN or 7 billion TMT) connecting their two countries by rail for the first time and set to extend to Tajikistan.

A train pulling 46 freight cars completed the 3 kilometre-long journey from Imamnazar, Turkmenistan, to Aqina, Afghanistan.

This represents the tail end of an 88km-long link with Afghanistan that Turkmenistan began building back in 2013. President Ashraf Ghani and his Turkmen counterpart,Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, jointly launched Imamnazar and Aqina Railway Line by cutting a ribbon. The new railway line will help to transport gas and fuel to Afghanistan, Ghani said during the ceremony, adding that the rail link will be extended to Mazar-i-Sharif and then to Herat.

If completed, the 400km-long railway would boost trade among the three countries, and could link up with other rail routes across Asia.

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