Tehran, Iran, January 31
By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
Iran is in talks with Chinese and European companies for developing high-speed railroad, Iranian Minister of Transport and Urban Development Abbas Akhondi said.
Speaking in a conference, Akhondi said his ministry has prioritized stretching railroad in suburban areas due to heavy traffic and environmental concerns, IRIB news agency reported January 31.
"In the government's recent trip to Italy and France, we held numerous talks over refurbishing the railroad system," he said.
The minister added that during the talks, Iran pursued hire-purchase contracts as well as agreements on manufacturing railroad equipment inside the country.
Akhondi regretted that urban development in Iran has so far been based on streets designed for cars, rather than rail-based transportation.
Iran's capital Tehran is host to five million cars, whereas the streets can normally hold only one million of them.
Each day, 450 thousand cars enter and leave the city, as cars are the most common way of travelling in the country.
Iran's rail system is the same as the first days it came into existence a little short of one century ago.
A first-in-its-kind in the country project to electrify the much used Tehran-Mashhad railway has been waiting accomplishment for years.