Turkmenistan preparing to link Turkmen-Iranian part of transnational railway
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Oct. 4
By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:
Turkmenistan is getting ready for a solemn event dedicated to connecting the Turkmen-Iranian section of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transnational railway, the Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said Oct. 4.
Reportedly, the construction of stations and ancillary facilities at this section of the railway is coming to an end.
This issue was also on the agenda of a recent government meeting, which was attended by Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
"The event marks an extremely important step towards creation and efficient use of Eurasia's interregional transit and transport links, and enhancing trade and economic ties among the continent's countries," Berdimuhamedov said at the meeting.
"Its commissioning is also topical given a possible link-up with the East-West transport network, that is, the China-Central Asia-Caucasus-Europe transcontinental route running through the Caspian Sea," the president added.
A project, called the North-South, is being implemented on the basis of an agreement signed in 2007 by Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.
Another project was launched May 2013 to connect the railways on the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
The new route will provide convenient and economically efficient cargo transportation to the South Asia, the ports of the Persian Gulf, and also in the opposite direction - to the Eastern Europe through Russia.
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.