The greater part of the railways in Tajikistan were constructed when the country was part of the Soviet Union. They were built to Russian gauge (1520mm).
In the south of the country, two lines enter from Uzbekistan and run to the capital Dushanbe, one via Tursunzoda, the other via Shahritus, Kolkhozobod and Bokhtar. The latter line was severed in 2011 by the destruction of a bridge near the Uzbek border, but reopened in 2018. There is a branch from Kolkhozobod to Panji Poyon, near the Afghan border, and the line continues beyond Dushanbe to Vahdat.
A separate line in the north of the country was essentially a transit route between two parts of Uzbekistan, passing through the city of Khujand. A new line entirely within Uzbekistan opened in 2016 effectively bypassing this section, which is however still used for some local traffic.
Following the independence of Tajikistan, a new line was constructed from the existing line at Bokhtar to serve industrial centres at Danghara, Kulob and Moskovskiy. The line was completed in 1999.
Construction is expected to start in late 2018 on a new 1520mm gauge cross border link with Afghanistan. From the existing branch terminus at Panji Poyon a short link would be constructed across the Panj River to a new station at Shērkhān Bandar. It is proposed that the line will eventually be extended within Afghanistan to link up with other railways.
Flag image from CIA World Factbook