Iran’s eastern railway could be used for Russia-India transit

head of the resumption of train services in Kashmir, the Indian Railways on Monday conducted a trial run between Banihal and Baramulla. Photo: ANI. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TEHRAN, Jul 13, 2020, IRNA. Iran can use its eastern railway corridor for transiting commodities between Russia and India and also among CIS countries, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) told IRNA, according to Tehran Times.

Mentioning the beginning of the track-laying operations for Chabahar-Zahedan railway, Saeed Rasouli said: “So far we haven’t been able to use the full capacities of Chabahar port since it wasn’t connected to the railway network, but with the completion of this line the port can become a transit hub in the region.”

“This route is one of the important parts of the country’s railway network, which in addition to its regional and national role, is very important as a part of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) leading to Chabahar port,” Rasouli said.

The track-laying operations of the Chabahar-Zahedan railroad, which connects Chabahar port in southeastern Iran to Zahedan (the capital city of southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province), was started on Tuesday in a ceremony attended by Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami and Deputy Transport Minister Kheirollah Khademi.

Establishing an all-rail corridor in the east of the country, connecting Chabahar as the country’s only oceanic port to the national railway network, developing Makran coasts through rail transportation, connecting Central Asia and Afghanistan to open ocean waters, creating a suitable platform for development and economic growth, saving fuel consumption and reducing road accidents, creating sustainable development and security in the region and establishing permanent cooperation with countries in the region and other countries with trade and transit exchanges have been reported as some of the goals of Chabahar-Zahedan railway project.

The government is planning to increase the capacity of Chabahar port from the current 2.5 million tons to 8.5 million tons, and completing the eastern railway corridor is being pursued as part of the plan to prepare the necessary infrastructure for managing the added capacity.

Chabahar Port in southeast Iran is the most prioritized one for railway connection as the port’s exemption from the new round of the U.S. sanctions on the country is an opportunity for the development of export, transit, and also transshipment.

Lying on the coast of the Gulf of Oman, Chabahar is the country’s only oceanic port and given its strategic location in the north-south transport corridor, development of the port is of high significance for Iran.

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