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Germany

Bundeswehr Considers Building New Afghan Railway

The German military are mulling plans to build a 67-kilometer (42-mile) railway in Afghanistan to haul in supplies from nearby Uzbekistan, a German newsmagazine reported.

Afghan landscape

There are currently less than 25 kilometers (15 miles) of railway in Afghanistan

The railway would connect the main German logistics base in Afghanistan, at Mazar-i-Sharif, with the town of Hairatan on the Uzbek border, where a bridge was erected by the Soviets in 1982 crossing the Amudarya border river, German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday, Aug. 30.

This would enable a direct connection to the Uzbekistan rail network and to the Uzbek city of Termez, where the German air force has its main local logistics site for incoming supplies from Germany.

Germany has an agreement with Russia permitting it to transport supplies via rail through Russia to Afghanistan. The new link would make resupplying Germany's base in Mazar-i-Sharif, its largest in Afghanistan, less of a logistic challenge.

The newsmagazine said the military hoped that the German Aid Ministry and international organizations would contribute to the cost of building the line, since the link would also boost the economy of the region.

No costing estimates for the project had been made yet.

The idea for the railway route dated back to Soviet times, when engineers proposed a 200-kilometer line from Hairatan via Mazar to Pul-i-Khumri, but this was never built.

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