The governments of Iran and Afghanistan have inaugurated the first railway link connecting the two countries for enhancing trade.
The 140km line will be built from Khaf in the eastern part of Iran to Rozanak in the western part of Afghanistan.
This line will be eventually extended by 85km to reach the Afghan city of Herat.
Decades of war have stalled Afghanistan’s infrastructure development and this transport link is expected to be crucial in boosting trade for the landlocked country, reported Associated Press.
In 2007, Iran funded the construction of the $75m rail project on both sides of the border.
Speaking via a video conference, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called it one of the historic days in relations between the two nations.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani called the railroad a gift from Iran and marks an ‘important step for economic revival and development in both the countries’.
Following its completion, the 225km link will transport around six million tonnes of goods and one million passengers a year.
Iran expects to become a regional transport hub, allowing Afghanistan and other landlocked Asian countries to transport goods to its ports.
Iran currently has rail connectivity with Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey.