Turkmenistan Railway Assessment
In 2005 Turkmenistan had 2,440 kilometers of rail line, most of which runs close to the northern and southern borders. The Tejen–Serakhs–Mashhad railway, built in 1996 by Turkmenistan and Iran, has become a vital link of Central Asian, Russian, and European rail systems with South Asia and the Persian Gulf. In February 2006, the final construction phase began on the Trans-Garagum Railway, a direct link between Ashgabat and Dashhowuz that will halve travel time between the southern and northern borders. Urban transportation systems are being upgraded in Ashgabat, Dashhowuz, and Mary.
In May 2013, a new rail link opened between Uzen (Kazakhstan) and Serhetyaka (Turkmenistan), crossing the border at Bolashak. The railway is 146km long and cost 65bn tenge. It is part of a larger project to link Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran.
Railway links with adjacent countries
- Iran - yes, cargo only - 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in)/1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) break-of-gauge
- Afghanistan - yes - very short to Towraghondi, no passenger service
- Kazakhstan - new rail link opened in 2013.
- Uzbekistan - yes, service halted indefinitely
- Caspian Sea - irregular ferry, passenger only