The 84km line will link Atamyrat in Turkmenistan with Andkhoy in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province.

Afghan president Mr Hamid Karzai discussed the project with his Turkmen counterpart Mr Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at a meeting in January, and the two sides say they expect construction to begin soon.

Commercial services began last month on Afghanistan's first railway, which links Mazar-i-Sharif with Termez in Uzbekistan.