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Transport in Tajikistan

Most of Tajikistan’s transportation system was built during the Soviet era, and since that time the system has deteriorated badly because of insufficient investment and maintenance. Neither the Soviet system nor subsequently built infrastructure addressed the topographical division between the northern and southern regions of the country. Beginning in 2005, a series of major transportation projects sought to rectify this problem. The first such project, the Anzob Tunnel, was inaugurated in 2006, providing a year-round road link from Dushanbe to northern Tajikistan. Nevertheless, construction is still ongoing at the site as the tunnel still lacks a ventilation system and is not paved. Air transport is considered unreliable.


The railroad system totals only 680 km of track, all of it 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in) broad gauge. The system connects the main urban centers of western Tajikistan with points in neighboring Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In 2000 a new line connected the southern cities of Qurghonteppa and Kulob.

Passenger transit through Tajikistan has been hindered by periodic failures of Tajik Railways to pay transit tariffs and by safety issues. A recent agreement between the heads of state of Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan will modernize parts of Tajikistan's rail system to allow more trade between Central Asian countries.


Tajikistan has an estimated 30,000 km of roads, nearly all of which were built before 1991. One main north-south artery runs across the mountains between the northwestern city of Khujand and Dushanbe. A second main artery runs east from Dushanbe to Khorog in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, then northeast across the mountains to the Kyrgyz city of Osh. Because the Khujand–Dushanbe route is closed in winter, the Anzob Tunnel was built to bypass the mountain crossing and open a route connecting Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and points north with Afghanistan and Pakistan to the south, via Tajikistan.

China has invested approximately $720 million for infrastructure improvements in Tajikistan, including the rebuilding, widening and improvement of the road between Dushanbe and Khujand which as of August 2007 is proceeding using equipment, labor, and oversight from China.

In mid-2005 construction began on a bridge across the Panj River to Afghanistan which was funded by the United States and opened in August 2007, and plans called for construction of several other bridges ultimately connecting Tajikistan to warm-water ports to the south.

A 2009 meeting between the heads of state of Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan paved the way for a new highway through Tajikistan. The new highway will help Pakistani exports reach Central Asia, a substantial benefit to Tajikistan as well. The 1,300 km long road is planned to pass through the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and Dushanbe. The road’s initial feasibility study was planned to be presented in November 2009.

Ports and waterways

Tajikistan has no access to the sea and no navigable inland waterways.


In 2009 Tajikistan had 26 airports, 18 of which had paved runways and two with runways longer than 3,000 m. The largest airport, at Dushanbe, has flights to only a few international destinations. No flights connect Dushanbe with Tashkent, but direct flights to Almata daily connect Dushanbe with all the major international destinations. The next largest airports are at Khujand and Kulob.

State-run Tajik Air Somon Air, and many CIS airlines operates flights to CIS destinations.


Tajikistan’s 549 km of gas pipeline bring natural gas from Uzbekistan to Dushanbe and transport gas between points in Uzbekistan across northwestern Tajikistan. Tajikistan also has 38 km of oil pipeline.