Iran intends to expand cooperation with Azerbaijan in rail transport

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 9 /Trend, T.Jafarov, E.Ismayilov/

Railway authorities of Azerbaijan and Iran plan to sign an updated version of the railroad agreement signed by the sides in the Soviet period by late 2011, head of the international department of Iranian Railways, Abbas Nazari, told Trend.

The memorandum on this issue was signed yesterday at a meeting of heads of railway administrations of the two countries in Tehran.

The experts have already prepared a preliminary version of the new document.

"We have agreed to summarize this document," Nazari said.

He said that the agreement reflects the issues on the movement of trains, repair and return of carriages.

The Iranian side offered Azerbaijan high-speed trains and technologies of their production during the talks held between representatives of the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia on February 7-8 in Tehran within the railway construction project Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) - Astara (Azerbaijan).

In particular, passenger trains Railbaus designed for short distances with a speed of 120 kilometers per hour were proposed to Azerbaijan. These trains are made in Iran in cooperation with Korean experts and fully comply with international standards.

"During the negotiations with the Azerbaijani side, we have noted that we are ready to sell this brand of trains and provide the technology for their production to Azerbaijan", Nazari said.

He said that representatives of the Iranian railways proposed transit trains produced by the Iranian company Vaqon Pars, based on technology imported from Germany. The speed of movement of such trains is 160 kilometers per hour. In this regard, the Iranian side considers possible to sell trains to Azerbaijan and export technology of their production.

"The quality of these trains does not differ from those produced in Germany," he said.

The production of these carriages in Iran is also cheap because electricity and labor are cheaper than in Germany. The discussions on this issue dealt with both freight and passenger trains

He said that the agreement on exchange of experience between the Azerbaijani and Iranian sides was reached. Each side has some experience. The experts of the two countries will discuss and determine the ways in which this process of cooperation will be continued.

"Azerbaijan and Iran are friendly countries. We are interested in developing relations with Azerbaijan. I hope that the railroad Qazvin-Rasht-Astara-Astara will be built as soon as possible, and the relationship between the two countries will more develop. The construction of the road is beneficial for both parties, " Nazari said.

Heads of the railway departments of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran signed Tuesday a document on establishing a joint venture for creating 'North-South' railway corridor.

The head office of the joint venture will be located in Moscow, in turn, its affiliates will be located in Baku and Tehran.

About $400 million is envisaged to be invested in the construction of the railway.

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