Iran Plans to Modernise Railway Network and Purchase New Locomotives
The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways has signed a €1bn memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Development Fund and the Industry, Mine and Trade Ministry to increase rail infrastructure in the region.
Around 11,000km of railroads are currently being built throughout the country by the railways, which are expected to open around 420km of lines by the end of the Iranian calendar year (20 March 2013).
Iran Railways expects to purchase ten new locomotives in the near future.
Iran Railways managing director Abdol-Ali Saheb-Mohammadi told ISNA news agency the company has the potential to build 350km of railroads per year.
Close to 25,000km of railway is currently in operation across the country and within the next two years all provinces are expected to be connected by the rail network.
Iran opened a locomotive production plant in northern Alborz Province in July 2012, with the capacity to build 120 locomotives per year, according to the IRNA news agency.
“Some €480 million plus IRR1 trillion have been invested in the project, which is aimed to create 750 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs,” Saheb-Mohammadi said.
In May 2012, Iran and Tajikistan made plans to build a 392km railway line linking the two countries with Afghanistan, China and Kyrgyzstan.
The route is expected to increase trade ties and exports, and decrease transit costs among the countries facilitating transport of cargo and passengers.
Iranian company Metra is responsible for the feasibility study for the construction of a Tajik stretch of the rail link, which would ultimately link the Iranian rail network to the Chinese city of Kashgar via Tajikistan and Afghanistan.