Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transnational railway to be commissioned in December

Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transnational railway to be commissioned in December

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Nov. 28
By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

A grand opening of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transnational railway is scheduled for December 3, 2014 the Turkmen government said Nov. 28.

The railway commissioning ceremony will be held with the participation of the presidents of the three countries, a statement says.

This time the transnational railway sections will be joined at the Turkmen-Iranian border. The Turkmen-Kazakh section of the railway corridor was commissioned in May 2013.

The new railway is expected to be a convenient and cost-effective route for cargo transportation from Europe to Central and South Asia, the Middle East, as well as in the opposite direction.

The preparation for the ceremony was discussed at the meeting of the Turkmen Cabinet of Ministers, Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported.

"The railway commissioning will give a powerful impetus to the socio-economic development of the countries and new jobs will be created," Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. "All this will contribute to the welfare, enhance and improve the people's life."

The territory of Central Asia is a natural transportation corridor in "North-South" and "East-West" directions, ensuring a way to the world's largest markets, the Turkmen State News Agency reported.

"In this aspect, the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway construction project will ensure the most favorable route (from an economic point of view and time) for the cargo transportation," a statement says.

"This railway is not only economically feasible project, but also a significant factor of geopolitics," Turkmen TV channel Altyn Asyr reported. "It can have a positive impact on the entire situation in the region and beyond, strengthen stability and sustainable development of large regions of the Eurasian area."

A project, called the North-South, is being implemented on the basis of an agreement signed in 2007 by Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.

There can also be a modal redistribution of transit goods: a shift of freight from motor vehicles, sea or air transport to railway transport.

Preliminary estimates show that originally 3 to 5 million metric tons of cargos per year will be transported via this route. In the long term the transportation will increase to 10-12 million metric tons.

The project is being implemented with an assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Turkmenistan has land borders with Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. The country also borders on the Caspian Sea with Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran.

edited by CN

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