ADB is helping Afghanistan build a 75-kilometer single-line railway between the town of Hairatan and Mazar-e-Sharif, the second largest city in the country. Hairatan serves as the gateway for almost half of Afghanistan's total imports. The project will also upgrade the train stations and provide institutional support to develop a railway sector plan.
cross-border cargo volume facilitated
kilometers of railways constructed or/and upgraded
tCO2 equivalent per year in greenhouse gas emission reduction
average daily vehicle-kilometers using railways built or upgraded in the first full year of operation
The results data reported above are limited to ADB's core sectors, as defined under Strategy 2020 and tracked through indicators in the ADB Results Framework. For definitions of results indicators, please see the ADB Results Framework Indicators Definition.
|Project Name||Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Grant
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Transport / Rail transport (non-urban)
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Gender equity|
The Project involves the construction of a new 75 kilometers (km) railway line between Hairatan at the border with Uzbekistan and Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan. The Project represents a first phase of a larger rail network planned across the north and other parts of the country, including links to Herat, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. It will expand the existing transport network in Afghanistan and improve substantially internal and international connectivity. The Project is part of the Transport Strategy and Action Plan agreed under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program. It will add capacity to two transport corridors under CAREC and open up alternative routes of supply for national and international trade, as well as for humanitarian relief to Afghanistan.
The Project has two components: (i) design and construction of 75 km single-line railway and associated infrastructure; and (ii) project management, independent supervision, and institutional support. The Project will be executed through a fixed price and fixed time delivery engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) turnkey contract. Once constructed, tested, and commissioned, the rail service will be managed by an operator under an operation and maintenance contract.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The Project has strong rationale. First, it will develop a reliable, efficient, safe, and sustainable transport link within the country and between the country and its neighbors. Hairatan already doubles up as Afghanistan's most important dry and river port, acting as the gateway for almost half of Afghanistan's total imports. Key commodities and goods moving through this point include oil and fuel, wheat and flour, fertilizer, construction materials such as cement and bitumen, agricultural and off-highway equipment and
consumer goods. Hairatan is also a largest port for the supply of humanitarian relief to Afghanistan. However, the existing transport infrastructure and facilities at Hairatan cannot cope with an expanding volume of trade and humanitarian relief. An existing rail line between Termez in Uzbekistan and Hairatan does not have a rail link into Afghanistan. Freight destined for Afghanistan and beyond has to be off-loaded and reloaded into trucks at this border. This is both slow and extremely costly. Moreover, other established trade
and supply routes servicing Afghanistan are disrupted because of security constraints. The Termez Hairatan railway line helps but Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries would benefit if this were to be extended into Mazar-e-Sharif ending at the airport there, which is being expanded with German assistance, and connecting to the Ring Road being financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This expanded rail line will remove major critical physical bottlenecks at the border, quadrupling capacity and ultimately aiding regional trade.
A second important feature of the Project is its strong strategic and logistical content to countries in Central Asia. Afghanistan is the natural transit route to reach ports in Pakistan and the Caspian, for the onward sale of goods to South and East Asia, Middle East, and Europe. The railway line cuts bottlenecks at Hairatan, raises the profile of Afghanistan as a transit route and complements the connectivity improvements arising out of the two CAREC corridors (3 and 6), now under construction.
The Project fits well with the Government's development strategy and ADB's Country Partnership Strategy for 2009 2013. The latter flags transport as a priority area for assistance. The Project also fits well with the CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy and the Action Plan.
The Project will be implemented in line with ADB's approach to engaging with weakly performing countries.
|Impact||Greater economic development and increased trade between Afghanistan and the region|
|Description of Outcome||An efficient, safe, reliable railway transport network developed and operated in north Afghanistan.|
|Progress Toward Outcome||
With the completion of railway project connecting the ring road and airport, an integrated transport network has developed and railway line is in operation since December 2011.
Variation Order #3 to construct security related infrastructure has been agreed, design completed, construction started in December 2012 and will be completed by March 2013.
|Description of Project Outputs||
About 75 km of a new railway line and stations between Hairatan and Mazar-e-Sharif constructed and operated.
Railway sector plan endorsed by the Government, railway institution established and capacity building
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
Railway line and stations completed. the line has been in operation since December 2011.
Government review of draft railway legal framework and regulations completed.
Staff training on O&M is on going.
|Geographical Location||Hairatan, Kaldar, Mazar-e Sharif, Mazar-e Sharif, Nahri Shahi|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The Project is classified category B. The initial environmental examination (IEE) was prepared according to ADB's Environment Policy (2002) and Environmental Assessment Guidelines (2003). The Project will have no major long-term adverse impact on the environment. Short-term impacts are considered insignificant and temporary and will be mitigated through the implementation of an environmental management plan (EMP).|
The Project entails minor land acquisition and resettlement since most of the railway
route passes through uninhabited and unused desert land. The impact of the railway route is
only on 2 vacant plots. Based on this impact, the Project has been classified B for resettlement
purposes. A land acquisition and resettlement plan (LARP) was prepared
None of the people affected by the Project belongs to groups classified as indigenous
peoples under ADB's Policy on Indigenous Peoples (1998). The Project has been categorized
as C for impacts on indigenous peoples.
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||
Consultations were conducted on 20, 27, 30 July and 8 August 2009 at Taza Omed, Gore-e-More, Qalinbafan's Camp and Hairatan, respectively. The issues discussed in the consultations included merits and demerits of the railway alignment, and land acquisition, and resettlement. The consultations were open for all to share and exchange views, ideas, and experiences. Consultation held with the people of Qalinbafan's Camp village on 14 August 2009 reassessed affected land, and presented position and ownership of land and its price. Discussion held with the Ministry of Public Works on 14 August 2009 focused on issues relating to affected land, prices of land, and the process of compensation.
Decisions and Recommendations of the Consultation Sessions
- railway must go through government land;
- agriculture land should not be used because it is limited for production;
- affected people should get cash compensation of any affected property including land so that they can use the money according to their choice; and
- they expressed their interest to establish the Project railway line because they will have safe transpiration and the prices will be cheaper and business facilities will be increased.
In conclusion of each consultation, local people welcomed this Project as they believe the Project will contribute to their socioeconomic development.
|During Project Implementation||The consultation process will be held from project design through implementation. MPW and the Project Company will play an important role in this process.|
Consultants were recruited in line with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants. A consulting firm to oversee the design and construction work was selected using ADB's quality- and cost-based selection procedures and the procurement plan agreed with ADB. Full technical proposals were required.
The executing agency procured advisory services for railway sector and institutional development. The individual consultants were selected and engaged in accordance with the Guidelines on the Use of Consultants and the procurement plan agreed with ADB.
Procurement of goods, civil works, and related services financed from the ADB grant were done in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines. The Government requested for ADB's waiver to procure rail tracks from non ADB member countries, as the prices from non-member countries were more competitive than from member countries.
The Project involved one contract package by direct contracting with UTY for design, procurement and construct civil and railway works. The direct contracting allowed quick procurement process due to urgency of the Project. The direct contracting to UTY was justified for the following reasons (i) UTY was involved in the construction of existing railway line and station yard at Hairatan; (ii) UTY is currently operating and maintaining the existing railway line between Termez and Hairatan, the Hairatan station and marshalling yard, and (iii) UTY has strong track record in design, construction, operation, and maintenance of railways.
|Responsible ADB Officer||Bathula, Balabhaskara Reddy|
|Responsible ADB Department||Central and West Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Transport and Communications Division, CWRD|
Ministry of Public Works
Abdul Qudus Hamidi
First Macrorayan, Kabul,Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Public Works
Najibullah Aoudjan, Minister
First Macrorayan, Kabul,Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
|Concept Clearance||09 Jul 2009|
|Fact Finding||09 Aug 2009 to 18 Aug 2009|
|MRM||25 Aug 2009|
|Approval||30 Sep 2009|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|PDS Creation Date||09 Jul 2009|
|Last PDS Update||25 Mar 2013|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|30 Sep 2009||30 Sep 2009||03 Nov 2009||31 Dec 2011||31 Dec 2012||05 Apr 2013|
|Financing Plan||Grant Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||170.00||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||165.00||30 Sep 2009||0.00||0.00||0%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||30 Sep 2009||155.53||0.00||94%|
|Status of Covenants|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.
The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project||Project/Program Completion Reports||Jun 2013|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project||Project/Program Administration Manual||Mar 2012|
|Amendments to the Grant Agreement for Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Asian Development Bank dated 21 August 2011||Grant Agreement||Aug 2011|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project: Performance-based Operation and Maintenance Contract||Documents Produced Under Grant/Loans/TA||Jul 2011|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project||Procurement Plans||Jun 2011|
|Grant Agreement for Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Asian Development Bank Dated 30 September 2009||Grant Agreement||Sep 2009|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project||Reports and Recommendations of the President||Sep 2009|
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project: Social Impact Assessment Report (November 2010)||Environment and Social Impact Assessments||Nov 2010|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project: Environmental Safeguards Compliance/Monitoring Report (October 2010)||Environmental Monitoring Reports||Oct 2010|
|Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Development Project||Resettlement Plans||Sep 2009|
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Afghanistan: Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project||Validations of Project Completion Reports||Dec 2015|
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Together We Deliver: 10 Stories from ADB-Supported Projects with Clear Development Impacts||Books||Apr 2014|
|Unstoppable: The Hairatan to Mazar-e-Sharif Railway Project Performance-Based Operation and Maintenance Contract||Brochures and Flyers||Feb 2014|
|Innovative Project Management and Coordination Speed Up Afghanistan Railway Project||Papers and Briefs||Jan 2014|
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
Development Comes on a Train for Afghanistan's Northern RegionsAfghanistan’s railway line linking Mazar-e-Sharif with Hairatan on the Uzbekistan border is bringing much needed goods, trade opportunities, and hope, to one of Asia's most troubled countries.
Afghanistan: A Witness to DevelopmentKabul-born documentary photographer Jawad Jalali traveled across Afghanistan to capture the country's development through his lenses.
Building Afghanistan's New Railway as Lifesaving LinkADB has helped open up Afghanistan to increased trade and commerce through the construction of a new rail system.
Afghanistan Rail System Connects to UzbekistanA rail connection from Afghanistan's biggest northern city to the Uzbekistan border offers a chance to reestablish the war-torn nation as a regional trade hub.
Railway to Regional IntegrationToday, as new trade routes connect landlocked Central Asia with the booming economies of South Asia and the Middle East, Afghanistan's geographic position is proving a valuable asset.