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Iran keeps construction of important railway lines in spotlight - official

Transport Materials 27 March 2023 11:42 (UTC +04:00)
Iran keeps construction of important railway lines in spotlight - official
Elnur Baghishov
Elnur Baghishov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 27. Iran is focusing on the construction of important railway lines, including Chabahar-Zahedan, Zahedan-Mashhad, Shiraz-Bushehr, and Rasht-Astara, to be ready for use in the next few years, the Deputy Director of the Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company (CDTIC), Abbas Khatibi told Mehr News Agency, Trend reports.

The deputy noted that with the launch of the mentioned railway lines, cargo transportation within the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) will be carried out by railways.

Khatibi added that the Iranian Ministry of Roads and Urban Development has also prepared various programs to focus on transit corridors in the coming years.

“Currently, there are railway lines from the port of Bandar Abbas to the city of Rasht on the Iranian part of the International North-South Transport Corridor,” he said.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line is one of the main projects under consideration. Iran plans to put this railway line into use within the next 4 years, Khatibi also pointed out.

According to him, the Rasht-Astara railway line is also of interest to the Russian side. In this regard, meetings are held with the Russian side about the construction and related cost of the railway line almost every week.

Reportedly, Iran has started construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line. However, due to the high cost of construction of this railway line, Iran is trying to attract foreign investment.

According to the Iranian side, a total of 200 trillion rials (about $4.76 billion) is needed for the construction of this railway line.

The foundation of the ‘International 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, Türkiye, 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.

Iran's 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 will be built in Iran.

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