Innovative Project Management and Coordination Speed Up Afghanistan Railway Project

Publication | January 2014

On 30 September 2009, the AsianDevelopment Bank (ADB) approved $165 million to build a 75‑kilometer railway connecting Hairatan and Mazar‑e‑Sharif in Afghanistan.

The Hairatan-Mazar e Sharif railway was constructed in record time due to effective project management, teamwork, and integrated project planning. Governments, ministries, agencies, contractual service providers, and ADB staff members at headquarters and resident missions collaborated to execute the comprehensive plan.


  • A new railway in a major trade route from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan was needed to make Afghanistan's trade routes more reliable and efficient, lower the cost of goods, and create business opportunities.
  • The project team came up with a comprehensive and well-coordinated plan to speed up document processing, contractor and consultant selection, procurement, funds disbursement, and security mobilization - resulting in effective project management.
  • The project cycle was shortened from over 5 years to 3 years, with construction of the railway taking less than a year, and operations starting just after 1 year.