Afghanistan opening first major train service
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials say the first train has run on Afghanistan’s first major railroad service. The new line in the country’s north should easethe US military’s supply flow and is key to future trade.
Deputy Public Works Minister Noor Gul Mangal says the cargoless train chugged into Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday 21 December 2011 after a 47-mile (75km) trial run from the border with Uzbekistan.
It is the first leg stage a plan to link landlocked Afghanistan to its neighbors’ extensive railways. ADB economist Juan Miranda says the US$165m line will release a bottleneck now holding up cargo. A US Defense spokesman says the railway will speed up supplies coming in toAmerican troops. The US recently shifted much of its supply line north from routes through Pakistan.