Rasht-Astara railway project to be implemented soon - Iran's deputy minister (Exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, Nov. 22
The fact that the Rasht-Qazvin railway project is not completed and is still not connected to Astara does not mean that it does not matter, the Deputy Minister of Construction and Development of Railways, Ports and Airports of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, Abbas Khatibi told Trend.
The official was speaking about the trial opening of the Rasht-Qazvin railway as a part of larger railway project.
“The direct length of the Rasht-Qazvin railway is 164 kilometers. Eight stations are built on this route, with six stations are for carrying passengers,” he noted.
"We talked to the head of Iran's Management and Planning Organization, Mr. Nobakht, and due to his decision, the project will be completed within 2-3 months after pilot opening today,” he said.
Pointing to the importance of the project, he said that Qazvin-Rasht-Anzali railway is the last missing link associated with the completion of the South-North Corridor, which is naturally important due to the specific impact of this project in the region.
“This railway is to be the bridge between Iran and the Caspian countries. Moreover, the countries of East Asia can connect to the Caucasus through the north-south corridor,” Khatibi said.
"So we have put into operation a pilot project that has a special impact and complements one of the main railways corridors in the country and the region,” he said.
Referring to the ultimate goal of the project, he said that the plan should be continued from Rasht to Anzali, where the railway is under construction.
“Considering the fact that the Railways of Islamic Republic (RAI) is the main contractor, the process of initiating the operation is also being discussed,” he said, referring to the Rasht-Astara railway.
He went on to add that the Rasht-Astara railway project is part of the Islamic Republic of Iran's railways duties to build it.
“Rasht-Astara is in the negotiating phase as it is supposed become operational with a loan from Azerbaijan. Iran's officials are negotiating with Azerbaijan, and the project will be carried out soon,” he said.