But building an international railroad is far trickier than signing a trilateral agreement. As the above-cited report points out, there are already disagreements among the three states about the exact route the railroad should take, and out of the three, only Turkmenistan can afford to bankroll its section of the project on its own. It should also be clear to any perspective funder that conflict in Afghanistan could potentially raise the cost of the project significantly.Though the northern section of the country through which the rail would pass has been relatively stable, some observers have already seen signs that the Afghan Taliban are targeting new infrastructure and resource development projects. Rail lines are very easy to attack and very difficult to effectively secure over long stretches.
In the end, effective transportation links between the countries of this region will require more than the agreement of the nations concerned. Sufficient funding, expertise, and protection can only be secured through by-in by all the countries and institutions that would stand to benefit from a more efficient transportation system.