Russia and Iran cooperate on rail infrastructure development in Caspian Sea region
18 May 2016 • Author:
JSC Russian Railways and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways have met to discuss future cooperation on rail infrastructure development in the Caspian Sea region.
Oleg Belozerov, President of JSC Russian Railways met with Abbas Ahmad Akhoundi Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR) Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei in Tehran, Iran. In the meeting the parties discussed the prospects of cooperation between Russia and Iran in the development of the railway infrastructure of the Caspian Sea region, as well as attracting additional cargo traffic to rail.
“Right now the potential of our cooperation is far from being completely utilised,” said Mr. Belozerov. “At the same time, Russian and Iranian railways have accumulated experience in the joint implementation of infrastructure projects in 2012. JSC Russian Railways has completed the electrification of the Tabriz–Azarshahr railway line.”
Rail infrastructure development – Construction of the Rasht–Astara railway line
During the meeting with the president of IRIR, the formation of a direct rail link along the west branch of the North–South international transport corridor was brought up. The project envisages the construction of the Rasht–Astara railway line, which will connect the railways of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. The new infrastructure will accelerate the delivery of goods between the countries of Europe, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia.
Electrifying the Garmsar–Ince Burun line
The two sides also discussed the conditions for implementing the project of electrifying the Garmsar–Ince Burun line with a length of 495 km, including 203 km in a mountainous area. The modernisation of this infrastructure will increase the capacity and speed of trains.
Following the meeting, a protocol was signed on the main directions of further cooperation between JSC Russian Railways and IRIR. The document was signed by Mr. Belozerov and Dr. Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei. The parties will continue to work to achieve joint projects, strengthen cooperation, and attract additional freight traffic to the North–South international transport corridor.
Mr. Belozerov, who is also chairman of the International Union of Railways, said that Iranian Railways are an active participant in the Middle East UIC Assembly and collaboration in international organisations bolsters cooperation, the attraction of additional cargo, and the promotion and development of railway business in Eurasia.
“We intend to continue actively developing cooperation with Iran in the field of rail transport both in bilateral and multilateral formats, thus contributing to the sustainable development of our economies,” said Mr. Belozerov.