Baku, Azerbaijan, March 8
By Rahim Zamanov - Trend:
Deputy Manager of Iranian Railways Hossein Ashouri said on March 8 that Tehran and Ashgabat will connect their railways in less than nine months, Iran's ISNA News Agency reported on March 8.
"Iran's railway will be connected to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the near future," he said.
He went on to note that Kazakhstan has already finished its part of railroad on its soil.
Construction & Development of Infrastructures Transportation Company (CDITC) director Seyed Masoud Nasr Azadani said on Feb. 26 that the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway will come on stream in six months, Iran's IRNA News Agency reported.
"During a meeting with the Turkmen side, a decision was made that the project will come on stream in the next six months," he said.
He went on to note that Iran has constructed the major part of the railway on its soil and only 400 meters remained.
IRNA News Agency also quoted Khanmamed Ataev, a senior engineer with the Turkmen Ministry of Railway Transport, as saying that Ashgabat will fulfill its obligations in the project.
"Turkmenistan will finish its part of construction in three months," he said.
Ataev went on to note that Iran and Turkmenistan will construct a joint bridge on Atrek River in six months.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Feb.15 that the construction of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway will be completed and put into operation soon, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Zarif made the remarks at a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov.
The Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway is a part of the North-South international transport corridor.
The Fars News Agency reported in January that Turkmenistan will complete its own section of the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway by October this year.
The Turkmen president has ordered his deputy for transport and communication affairs that the Turkmen section of the railway should be completed by October 2014.
Over 180 kilometers of the railway in Turkmenistan was constructed in 2013. Just 90 kilometers of the Turkmen section of the railway are to be built.
An intergovernmental agreement on the North-South project was signed in 2007 among Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan. The planned volume of traffic on the route will not be more than 10 million tons a year.
The project will open a way for the countries in Asia and Europe to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. There will be similar opportunities for the transit of goods from the countries in South-East and South Asia, the Indian Ocean coast to the countries of Eastern and Northern Europe via Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.
This way is several times shorter than overcoming the Suez Canal. The railway will play a huge role in the desert areas of social infrastructure in the Caspian region and the northern territory - from the border with Kazakhstan to Bereket.