Iran, Central Asia railroad trade to boom (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 19
Dalga Khatinoglu, Trend:
Trains of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan uses Iran railroads without problem despite width difference, Hossein Ashoori, Member of Board and Head of International Transportation at Iranian Railways told Trend June 19.
According to him, the width of Iran’s railroads is 1,435mm, but those of post-Soviet Union countries are 1,520mm.
Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan connected their railroads together to link Central Asia to Bandar Abbas port in Persian Gulf in 2015.
Currently the transit capacity of the project is 3 million tons per year, or a third of final capacity. The project would become full operational after the trains are electrified and some other work carried out in northern mountainous regions.
Ashoori said that Central Asian trains travels directly through Iran after bogie exchange operations at the border stations, Sarakhs, Lotfabad and Injeburun. Bogie exchange is a system for operating railway wagons on two or more gauges to overcome difference in the track gauge.
Ashoori said that last year, three million tons of cargoes transited from Iran to Turkmenistan (and Kazakhstan) or from Central Asia to Iran via railroad. The volume includes trade turnover.
He added that Iran has given 35-45 percent discount in transit fees in Central Asia- Pakistan route in 2017. For Central Asia-Turkey route, the discount was even 50 percent.
He said that the discount in transit fee is expected to encourage Iranian, Pakistani, Turkish and Central Asian businessmen to use Iranian railroads more often.