BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29
By Elnur Baghishov – Trend:
The construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line in the Gilan Province (northern Iran) will allow the activation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi said, Trend reports citing the ministry.
According to Ghasemi, after the construction of the railway, the Iranian railway will be linked to the Azerbaijani railway.
The minister added that there is a railway line from the Shahid Rajaee Port in the Hormozgan Province (southern Iran) to the Rasht city in the Gilan Province.
"Iran's goal is to connect to the Caucasus, Russia, and European countries. For this purpose, the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway is in the spotlight. During the Iranian president's visit to Russia, discussions were conducted in this regard, and construction of the railway line is expected to begin soon with the allocation of needed funds," he said.
The foundation of the ‘North-South Transport Corridor’ was laid on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran, and India on September 12, 2000.
In total, 13 countries have ratified the agreement, including Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Russia, Turkey, etc.
The purpose of creating a corridor is to reduce the delivery time of cargo from India to Russia, as well as to North and West Europe. Delivery time on the current route is more than 6 weeks, it is expected to be reduced to 3 weeks via North-South Transport Corridor.
The 175 km long Qazvin-Rasht railway was officially put into operation on March 6, 2019, to connect Azerbaijani railways with the Iranian railway network within the corridor. In addition, the 167 km long Rasht-Astara railway line must be built in Iran.
In total, $2 billion is estimated to be spent on the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line.
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