Russian Railways’ (RZD) president, Oleg Belozerov, has spoken about his commitment to improving rail links to Europe as the company looks to capatalise on traffic growth from Asia.
At the XI International Rail Business Forum Strategic Partnership 1520 on June 2 in Sochi, a tripartite agreement between Russian, Iranian and Azerbaijani railways was signed.
The document was signed by President of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, Vice Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of Iranian Railways Dr. Mohsen Pour Seyed Aghaei, and Chairman of CJSC Azerbaijani Railways Javid Gambar oglu Gurbanov.
The agreement reflects the provisions on railway tariffs for attracting traffic and the further development of the North-South international transport corridor routes, including the organization of the experimental Bandar Abbas-Moscow container train.
The North-South international transport corridor is a multimodal route transporting passengers and goods with a total length of 7200 km from St. Petersburg to Mumbai port (India), promising to attract transit cargo from India, Iran, and other countries of the Persian Gulf to the territory of Russia (through the Caspian Sea) and later to Northern and Western Europe.
There is now heightened interest from Russian and international companies in organizing cargo transportation via this corridor. In order to reduce costs and time of delivery of goods and to increase the commercial attractiveness of the direction North-South, it seems expedient to take containerized cargo through the “western branch” of the corridor via Azerbaijan (the Astara border crossing).
On March 15-16, 2016, a trilateral meeting of representatives from JSC Russian Railways, CJSC Azerbaijan Railways, and railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran was held in Baku with the participation of JSC RZD Logistics, PJSC TransContainer, and ADY Express LLC (a subsidiary of JSC Azerbaijan railways). The parties confirmed the multimodal India-Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia route on which the transport of containerized cargo will be organized on a regular basis. Rail (Bandar Abbas-Qazvin) and automobile (Qazvin-Astara) transportation will be used on Iranian territory from the port of Bandar Abbas to the Astara border.
Currently the parties are working out the potential freight base for experimental traffic on this route.
Source : RZD Press Centre