This railway route is included as one of the one hundred great railway routes around the world, in the book Illustrated Book of Steam and Rail by Colin Garratt.
The Trans Baluchistan, Quetta-Zahidan Railway was constructed as part of a strategic military route between India and Persia (now Iran).
The extension of the Quetta-Nushki Railway was described in July 1916 as the Quetta-Seistan Railway by the Commander-in-Chief in India , Sir Beauchamp Duff - “to extend the Quetta–Nushki railway to Seistan, on the grounds that it is a 'cogent military necessity'” .
In 1917 this extension railway is also described by the Mesopotamia Administration Committee as the “proposed extension of Quetta-Nushki-Dalbandin railway .
The 1918-19 Nushki Extension Reconnaisance Report by Maj Lewis Egerton Hopkins gives a report and approximate estimates .
The railway line reached the Iranian town of Duzdap (now Zahidan )  on October 1, 1922 and described as the Quetta-Zahidan Railway. The railway is also described as the “Persian Baluchistan (including the Sarhad and Persian Mekran) The Quetta-Nushki extension railway” .
By the time the railway line reached Duzdap, the British had already demobilized their forces in East Persia. This demobilization happened in March 1921 and it took away the importance of the newly built railway. So much so that in 1931, the 221 km section between Nok-Kundi and Duzdap (Zahidan) was closed down and track removed to be used elsewhere.
World War 2 however, renewed interest in Quetta-Zahidan link. British forces wanted to aid Russian forces against Germany in Persia (Iran). The aid never materialized but the Quetta-Zahidan link was reopened on 20 April 1940 in Zahidan.
There are only 14 Railway Stations in the last 553 km section of the track. The total length of track from Quetta to Zahidan is 732 km with the last 100 km section being inside Iran.
The first major town is Nushki, 158 km from Quetta.
21 km west of Nushki is the town of Ahmedwal
West of Ahmedwal the desert landscape for which this section of track is world famous, begins. Dalbandin is located 164 km west of Ahmedwal.
58 km west of Dalbandin is the town of Yakmach
There is a 110 km section to the next town called Nok-Kundi.
122 km west is the border check post of Koh-i-Taftan.
There are then 100 km of line in Iran.
The above information has been taken from the website "All Things Pakistan", refer below.
- History of rail transport in Pakistan: Trans-Balochistan Railway Wikipedia
- The Trans-Baluchistan Railway All Things Pakistan July 13, 2007, now an archived website
- Pilgrimage to Dalbandin by Salman Rashid posted January 2013. The author’s father was an Assistant Engineer with North Western Railway at Dalbandin from April 1943 to December 1944
Historical books online
- Despatch by Lieutenant-General R. Wapshare, C.B., C.S.I. on the Organization and Working of the East Persian Line of Communications. From 1st April 1918 to 15th January 1919 British Library India Office Records IOR/L/MIL/17/15/34 on Qatar Digital Library. Includes some general information about the railway from the beginning of the report digital page 12 and
- "Appendix 3 – Report on the working of the Nushki Extension Railway from 1st April 1918 to 15th January 1919", by Colonel Frederick Warner Allum, Engineer-in-Chief, Nushki Extension Railway, dated 6 February 1919. Page 19 of the report, digital page 30.
- "Appendix 4 – Note on the Field Work of the Nushki Extension (Railway) Reconnaissance, June 1918 to January 1919", by Major Lewis Egerton Hopkins, Engineer-in-Chief, N. E. Reconnaissance, dated 6 February 1919. Page 20 of the report, digital page 31.
- Persian Baluchistan (including the Sarhad and Persian Mekran) The Quetta-Nushki extension railway. File created 8 May 1922. British Library: India Office Records IOR/L/PS/18/C208, on Qatar Digital Library . The pages relating to the railway appear to commence digital page 15.
- Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 108 (pdf117); Retrieved 1 Dec 2016
- IOR/L/PS/18/C152; “Quetta-Seistan Railway” a proposal, made by the Commander-in-Chief in India [Sir Beauchamp Duff], to extend the Quetta–Nushki railway to Seistan, on the grounds that it is a 'cogent military necessity' “;26 Jul 1916-4 Aug 1916
- IOR/L/PS/18/C179; “Mesopotamia Administration Committee. Proposed extension of Quetta-Nushki-Dalbandin railway”; 29 Jun 1917-18 Aug 1917
- IOR/L/MIL/17/13/29; “Nushki Extension reconnaisance, 1918-19. Report and approximate estimates. Maj Lewis Egerton Hopkins. Lahore: North-Western Railway Press, 1919
- Wikipedia “Zahidan”); Retrieved 1 Dec 2016
- IOR/5L/PS/18/C208; “Persian Baluchistan (including the Sarhad and Persian Mekran) The Quetta-Nushki extension railway”; 8 May 1922 Persian Baluchistan (including the Sarhad and Persian Mekran) The Quetta-Nushki extension railway”