Turkmenistan had been the heart of the Great Silk Road for many centuries. A special importance in the restoration of this transport and trade way in its modern form is attached to the transport complex of the country.
Using its advantageous geographical position, Turkmenistan aims to become a major transport and logistics hub in the Eurasian space.
The railway transport has a special role in sustainable socio-economic development of Turkmenistan, enhancing its transit capacity, the creation of transport and transit corridors in the directions North-South and East-West.
The advantages of this type of transport include:
- high carrying and throughput capacity, lower cost of transportation, especially when it comes to the transportation of large consignments of goods over long distances;
- independence from climatic conditions, time of year and day;
- ample opportunities for the transportation of heavy and oversized cargo; high regularity and speed of transportation.
These features determine rail transport’s important role in logistics systems and its high competitiveness in the transport services market.
In view of the vast territory of Turkmenistan, the railway network is of great importance for the economic connectivity of the regions, and for international transportation. Great importance is attached to upgrading it, since it is necessary for further industrial development of the country and can have a high economic and resonant effect due to increasing the efficiency of rail transportation.
System measures in this area include renewal of the traction rolling stock fleet, reconstruction and construction of new railway stations, bridges, infrastructure facilities, etc.
In the process of upgrading railway transport, the locomotive depot of the Ashgabat Station was reconstructed, the railway traffic control system was computerized, and a dispatcher centralization system was introduced.
The staff of railway builders has been strengthened and projects have been launched for the production lines of the plant for the manufacture of reinforced concrete sleepers, crushed stone quarries that provide ballast materials for the repair and current maintenance of ways, and the construction of new roads.
Systematic purchases of modern rolling stock and equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers have made it possible to radically upgrade the fleet of locomotives, passenger and freight wagons and coaches.
In connection with the transition to a market economy and the development of public-private relations in the railway industry, relevant activities are carried out to modernize legal instruments.
Under the Agreement signed between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, a modern multimodal transport and transit corridor is being created, restoring the Lapis Lazuli route of the Great Silk Road. In February 2018, the Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) - Tourghundi (Afghanistan) railway, which is part of this transport and transit corridor, was put into operation.
And the first link of the Asian International Transport Corridor is the cross-border railway line “Kerki-Ymamnazar-Akina-Andkhoy” built by Turkmenistan.
The opening ceremony of the 30 km section of the Akina-Andkhoy railway in Afghanistan took place on January 14, 2021. In the future, there is a plan to extent this railway line to the border with Tajikistan with further access to the states of the Asia-Pacific region.
Turkmenistan has repeatedly stressed the importance of combining transport potentials to achieve the strategic goal of creating a powerful and modern infrastructure in the region that would ensure the unification of the transport systems of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The idea is that linking railroads, motorways, airways and waterways into efficient international communication patterns will give an incentive to development of world trade, economic growth, jobs creation, etc.