Work on the first railway in Afghanistan, an ADB-funded project, will begin this year.

The 75km railway will run from Uzbekistan’s border to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan.

The $170m project is funded by a $165m grant from ADB and the remainder by the country’s government. The country will name the firm for the design and operation contractors at the start of November.

The contract for the railway’s construction has been awarded to the Uzbek national railway company Uzbekistan Temir Yollari.

The project is expected to finish in 2010.