By Dalga Khatinoglu
Iran will construct 6,500 km in railroads transportation within five years, Hossein Ashoori, member of board and head of international transportation at Iranian Railways, told Trend.
He added that the figure includes the underdeveloped projects as well, while construction of further 3,500 km railroads after 2022 is under study now.
He didn’t mention the needed investment for the projects, but the General Director of Iranian Railways Saeed Mohammadzadeh told Trend June 19 that during the past four years, Iran invested $1 billion annually in railroad projects, and for the next five years the figure would reach $1.5 to $2 billion annually.
Currently, Iranian railroad grid’s length is 10,170 km.
One of the railroad projects is the Rasht-Astara segment with 175 km length, after completion of which, the North-South Transport Corridor will become fully operational.
The International North-South Transport Corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
The corridor is planned to transport 6 million tons of cargo per year at the initial stage and 15-20 million tons of cargo in the future.
The only remaining section of the project in Iran is the Rasht-Astara segment, which Iran plans to complete in three years through a loan from Azerbaijan. Financial talks continue and an agreement is at the final stage, Ashoori said.
The Rasht-Astara segment would need $1.1 billion worth of investment. Iran and Azerbaijan are negotiating on a $0.5 billion loan.