Construction of Khawf-Herat railroad as the 6th border railroad of Iran with its neighbor is one of the key infrastructural project that will play very important role in the economy and development of Iran and Afghanistan. It will bring about economic prosperity and commercial development in the two countries and will expand the ties between the two Nations. Moreover, it will facilitate transit and transport regionally and internationally.
The length of rail route inaugurated on 10 December 2020 is 140 km (phase 1, 2, 3), the costs is 430 billion tomans (in current value 1800 billion tomans).
Khawf-Herat railroad is totally 225 km long in 4 parts. Part 1 and 2 of this route is from Khawf to Shamtiq in Iran which is 78 km long. Part 3 is from Shamtiq to Rozanak in Afghanistan which is 62 km long. This part includes Rozanak Station which is constructed by Iran’s funding for development of Afghanistan. Part 4 is from Rozanak to Herat which its construction is now under consideration by Afghanistan's authorities.
- Development and strengthening of economic, social, and cultural relations between the two countries with the aim of easing export and import of freights and travels between the two countries
- Providing appropriate rail accessibility for Afghanistan through Iran to other international regions including high waters in the south, the Caucasus region, Turkey, Iraq, and Europe
- Rail transport services for about 1 million people of Afghanistan in Herat region
- Traffic and transit of more than 6 million tons of freight per year
- Booming construction and economic activities in the north west region in Afghanistan
- Possibility of developing and making rail corridor from Herat to Mazar Sharif in the north west of Afghanistan
- Ending geographic isolation of Sangan in Iran’s territory and Herat in Afghanistan's territory
- Decreasing relative costs of transport and removing monopoly of road traffic in freight transport
- Increasing transport safety in the region
- Decreasing fuel consumption compared to road transport
- Increasing commercial transactions up to $ 20 to 25 billion
- Rail connection of Afghanistan to Iran’s rail network (through Mashhad-Bafgh Railroad)
- Rail connection of Afghanistan to North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) including access to the Caspian Sea, Russia, and North Europe through Iran’s rail network
- Rail connection of Afghanistan to the Eastern-Western international corridor of Eco and TRACECA (access to Turkey and Southern Europe) through Iran’s rail network
- Rail connection of Afghanistan to high seas (Bandar Abbas and Chabahar Ports in the South) through Iran’s rail network
- Helping growth and development of Makran Coasts and increased transactions through Chabahar port as the hub of international transport
- Increased regional safety, stability and public welfare by creating economic interests, cooperation, and convergence through faster transfer of freights and passengers to different destinations
Political and Cultural Advantages:
- Khawf-Herat railroad has a great role in facilitating export and import and freight transit from Iran to Afghanistan and vice versa. It provides necessary grounds for development of mines and mineral industries including Iron ore mines. Also it will facilitate easy travel between the two countries
- Politically, cooperation in construction and operation of this rail route is one of Iran’s commitment to increase development of Afghanistan which will further increase by commercial transactions and travels between the two nations
- Iran and Afghanistan as two countries with one common history and culture have always had the best and highest level of relations. These relations increased in recent years as two strategic partners experienced booming relations. Currently Iran is one of the largest trade partner of Afghanistan and it is expected that operation of this rail route will considerably increase economic, cultural, political, and social transactions.