khawf in(iran)-herat and mazaresharif and shirkhan bandar in (afghanistan)-dushanbe in (tajikistan)_(kirgizstan)-kashghar in(china) project railway network is under construction that it is as a significant corridor for revitalizing silk road corridor in the region .at the present there are three different gauge in the region central asia with 1,520 mm gauge and turkey-islamic republic of iran with 1,435 mm standard gauge and pakistan with 1,676 mm gauge there for iran with khawf- kashghar railway project can play role of leadership for connect chinese standard gauge railway network (1,435) to turkey standard gauge railway network (1,435) by afghanistan territory .competition between russia and england in nineteen century lead to afghanistan play role of buffer state in india region .and prevented development in afghanistan and transport sectors particularly railway network established on the basis of moscow in central asia region . after collapse of soviet union and independence of central asian republics and establish people’s government in afghanistan region have a safe territory to cooperation in any issues particularly in transport sectors. go west policy of people’s republic of china and joint of this country to wto world trade organization lead to a significant economic prosperity in this country and lead to china be second largest economy after united states. these issues present a huge potential for region to revitalizing ancient silk road corridor in this region to play role of crossroads to connect peoples republic of china to european union and play role of bridge between europe and asia.
at the present only iran and china have standard gauge railway 1,435 in the region and offer a significant potential for afghanistan to play role of bridge to connect chinese standard gauge railway to iranian standard gauge railway network and in continue connect to turkey standard railway and finally connect to european union standard railway network .this plan khawf in (iran)-kashghar in (china) railway can connect directly industrial cities in east of china to rotterdam in nederland in north of europe . standard-gauge tracks avoid the need for cargo and passengers to be off-loaded and reloaded from one track to another different gauge track thus lead to reducing both travel time and costs in cargo transportation.
at the present revitalizing ancient silk road corridor is an interesting subject in the region .that it seems only united states and china offer a clear policy in these issues that in chinese policy it’s so called new silk road corridor or eurasian continental bridge that launched in 1991s. . the project involved the modernization and infrastructure development of a 4,131 km railroad route traveling through central and northwestern china to the central asia and finally connect to the rotterdam.
also after collapse of taliban in afghanistan united states present a clear policy about transport sectors in the region that it’s so called msr strategy modern silk road strategy tapi pipeline project, is a key element of a msr (modern silk road) strategy of us. it seems united states with msr strategy in transport sectors and pipe lines network in this region in short term try to bypass iran.
however it’s clear that any plan in transport sectors in this region that try to bypass iran is looser because iran is a natural corridor for access land lock central asia republics to international waters in south of iran . iran have a more than 11,000 standard-gauge railway network in this region and present a significant potential for land lock central asian republics and afghanistan for play role of crossroads between chinese standard railway to european union standard railway .herat-sherkhn bandar is a main part of khawf in (iran)-kashghar in (china) standard gauge railway project located in afghanistan . and lead to afghanistan be-coming a hub for transportation in central asia and south and west asia for play role of bridge between europe and asia .we believe revitalizing silk road corridor is the key success in afghanistan.
afghanistan is a key country in the region and instability and poverty in this country impact on economic prosperity in this region .we believe this project present a significant opportunity for peoples afghanistan for economic development in this country. this plan can help to economic development in the region and afghanistan country and cause afghanistan be more stable also help to two million refugees in iran return to afghanistan country .also this plan can lead to decrease of drug trafficking trade in afghanistan country and impact in global security challenges as a terrorism, religious extremism or drug trafficking in the region.
at present, road routes between origin and destination points in europe and asia are 8000 km shorter than sea routes. and present a significant potential for promoting inland routes between europe and asia.
the 2nd euro-asian road transport conference in tehran, on 6-7 october 2003 identified challenges and opportunities in developing trade and road transport along the silk road. today, the silk road again can connect both european and asian countries in order to boost economic, cultural and trade exchanges between countries and continents. iran is a closest corridor for land lock central asian republics to international waters and has a best position for connect chinese hug market to european union community.
• over the past three decades, china, as the fastest developing nation in asia, has enjoyed rapid annual economic growth. in 2003 china’s railways carried 2.2 trillion tons of freight and 478.9 trillion passenger/kilometers. that more than 95 percent of chinese cargo transport carry out by sea. rail is the major mode of transport in china. 24% of the world’s railway transport volume is belong to china. in 2010, the railway network of china has been expanded to 91,000 km.
china present a significant potential for central asia republic and eco members for play role of crossroads between these huge markets.
• china present a clear policy about transportation in west of china that it’s so called the "new silk road" or "eurasian continental bridge" project. that launched in china in 1992 the project involved the modernization and infrastructure development of a 4,131 km railroad route traveling through central and northwestern china to the central asia and finally connect to the rotterdam in north of europe.
after only ten years of efforts, 83% of this huge project has already been completed .more and more attention is being paid to opening china, its western regions for connect to international road transport connections. maritime transport is relatively inexpensive a container to reach europe by sea from china takes on average 4-6 weeks (although it often can exceed 2 months due to port congestion) but its carryout by land approximately less than 20 days.
khawf in (iran)-kashghar in (china)is a unique standard railway in the region that is under construction that try to directly connect eastern ports in china and south east asia to rotterdam in the nederland in north of europe.
railway is a safe and cheap instrument for far-distance cargo transport and lead to decrease delivery time and costs in cargo transport. in lands corridors in eurasia region lead to considerable saving in distances depending on what railways corridor is to be used.fo example distance from chinese ports to istanbul by northern (trans-siberian) route is about 14,000 km and by iranian territory the distance decrease to around 9,500 km which means around 4,500 km saving in favor of the central asian and iran railway route.
iran has a unique situation to role a leader ship to connect chinese standard railway to europe normal railway by iran and afghanistan territory. this project lead to eliminate costs of a change standard-gauge to broad-gauge in the region. having standard-gauge tracks avoids the need for cargo and passengers to be off-loaded and then reloaded from one track to another differently gauged track, thus reducing both travel time and costs. for example it is estimated by the consultant that for passengers, an all standard-gauge line between osh and kashi would save 5 to 8 hours of travel time. the reduction in transit time for cargo would even be more— mostly likely to be over a day. moreover, an all standard-gauge line between osh and kashi would result in a 10% to 20% savings in freight cost, depending on whether or not the cargo is containerized, and a 5% to 10% savings in passenger transport cost.
at the present khawf in (iran)-kashghar in (china) railway is only standard gauge railway network in the region that directly connect eastern industrial zones in china and south east of asia to rotterdam in nederland in north of europe .that this project is as a main corridor for revitalizing silk road corridor in this region (north east of iran).that lead to a significant in efficiency and decreasing in delivery time and costs in cargo transport between europe and asia.
region suffer from poor infrastructure in transport sectors particularly in central asia transport sectors established on basis of moscow capital of russia in nineteen century .after independence of central asian republics these countries need to a sufficient transport corridors to access international markets .
shortcomings in transport sectors in the region divide to:
transport infrastructures in the region need to develop, in the legal framework, insurance and tariff structures, as well as security and border crossing procedures to decrease delivery time and costs in cargo transportation in the region.
a common plan for the development of transport sectors, present by unece and unescap, and un development for facilitation and harmonization in transport sectors in this region.( www.unescap.org)
for example international euro-asian conferences on transport in saint petersburg was the first conference, in 1998, that recommended by unece and unescap, with the support of the concerned governments, for elaborate a joint programme on the development of transport links between europe and asia. the recommendation plans was include, finalization of projects prioritization; measures to address the physical and non-physical obstacles to euro-asian transport, including to reduce times and costs at borders through the implementation of the relevant multilateral agreements; strengthening national transport facilitation bodies and formulation of appropriate national action plans.
promotion of regional cooperation in regional transport is a vital part of the proposed strategy, for the region which requires (i) cooperation in planning, development and marketing of regional transport corridors, (ii) regional integration, focused restructuring and tariff setting for the railways, and (iii) harmonization of regulations, improvement in border controls and sustainable network development for roads.
since then several new issues have emerged region need to review in transport sectors:
• the beginning of the reconstruction of afghanistan, which has opened up new opportunities for economic cooperation between afghanistan and central asia, most of these issues can be tackled through regional cooperation on:
• implementing common trade conventions and agreements (especially the tir convention)
• harmonizing and streamlining border practices (including convoy practices)
• agreements on monitoring problems at and between borders
• agreements on removal of unnecessary checkpoints, and
• development of standard visa procedures for commercial drivers
khawf in (iran)-kashghar in (china) railway is only standard gauge railway network in the region that directly connect eastern industrial zones in china and south east of asia to rotterdam in nederland in north of europe .that this project is as a main corridor for revitalizing silk road corridor in this region (north east of iran).that lead to a significant efficiency and decreasing in delivery time and costs in cargo transportation between europe and asia.
afghanistan is a key country in this project. this plan can lead to economic development in the region and afghanistan country and cause afghanistan be more stable also help to two million afghan refugees in iran come back to the home. also this plan can lead to decrease of drug trafficking trade in afghanistan and impact in global security challenges as a terrorism, religious extremism or drug trafficking in the region.
revitalizing silk road corridor is a best project for efficiency in inland corridors between europe and asia and khawf in (iran)-kashghar in (china) railway project is as a unique corridor for revitalizing ancient silk road in the region (north east of iran).