Iran keen to reach deal with Russia on construction of Rasht-Astara railway line segment

Construction Materials 5 April 2023 12:36 (UTC +04:00)
Iran keen to reach deal with Russia on construction of Rasht-Astara railway line segment
Elnur Baghishov
Elnur Baghishov
Read more

BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 5. An agreement is expected to be reached between Iran and Russia regarding Russia's participation in construction of Iran’s Rasht-Astara railway line in Gilan Province (northern Iran), by the end of the second month of the current Iranian year (May 21, 2023), Deputy Director of the Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company (CDTIC), Abbas Khatibi said, Trend reports citing Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Khatibi noted that serious discussions between Iran and Russia on the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway continue, both in terms of the financial and technical matters.

The deputy director added that Iran is trying to reach a bilateral agreement with the Russian side. He also expressed hope that if Azerbaijan joins the agreement, it will become a tripartite one.

The Astara–Rasht–Qazvin railway is a transport corridor that connects existing railways of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran. The project is carried out within the framework of the International North–South Transport Corridor. The purpose of the project is to integrate the transport and information routes of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran and India.

Iran has already started construction of its Rasht-Astara railway line, however, due to the high cost of construction, the country is looking to attract foreign investment. According to the Iranian side, a total of 200 trillion rials (about $4.76 billion) is needed for the construction of this railway line.

“Currently, the most important corridor for Iran is the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) where Rasht-Astara railway is also located,” he said.

The foundation of the ‘International North-South Transport Corridor’ was laid on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran, and India on September 12, 2000. In total, 13 countries have ratified the agreement, including Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Russia, Türkiye, etc.

The purpose of creating a corridor is to reduce the delivery time of cargo from India to Russia, as well as to North and West Europe. Delivery time on the current route is more than 6 weeks, it is expected to be reduced to 3 weeks via North-South Transport Corridor.

Iran's 175 km-long Qazvin-Rasht railway was officially put into operation on March 6, 2019, to connect Azerbaijani railways with the Iranian railway network within the corridor. In addition, the 167 km long Rasht-Astara railway line will be built in Iran.


Follow the author on Twitter:@BaghishovElnur