Iranian official: Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway 84 percent complete
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.10
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: The Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway project is 84 percent complete, ISNA quoted Masoud Nasrazadani, an official with Iranian railways company as saying on Jan. 10.
The railway is estimated to carry 1.4 million passengers and five-seven million tons of cargo per year, he added.
Trains of up to 160 kilometers speed per hour will be used in the project, he noted.
On Dec. 13, ISNA quoted Deputy Director of the Iranian Transportation Infrastructures Development Company, Hossein Nazadar, as saying that the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway project has been grappling with a budget deficit.
The railway had been scheduled to be inaugurated this year, but the project is faced with a budget deficit, he added. If the financial problem is resolved, the railway will be inaugurated next year, he said.
The project needs some eight trillion rials ($320 million) which will be provided through selling bonds, he noted.
Previously, Iranian officials said the Qazvin -Rasht-Astara railway will be constructed in March 2014.
The rail route is complex and includes 22 tunnels and 15 special bridges. Around 70 per cent of the work for the construction of 15 tunnels has been completed.
The Qazvin - Rasht- Astara railway is part of 'the North -South' transport corridor and is being constructed by Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran.
On Nov. 18, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Tehran Javanshir Akhundov underlined the importance of this rail route for the expansion of bilateral ties between Tehran and Baku, IRNA reported.
"Launching the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway will lead to expansion of economic relations betweenIran and Azerbaijan," Akhundov said during a visit by representatives of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) whilst referring to the under-construction of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara rail network.
He pointed out that its construction will linkIran's railway system to Russia via Azerbaijan, and said, "These three countries, namely Iran,Azerbaijan and Russia, have a trilateral contract for construction and completion of the railway system.
Edited by C.N.