Chairman of the International Union of Railways (UIC) Regional Assembly for the Middle East Isa Apaydin said Iran's proposals for establishing joint ventures would be reviewed in the next meeting of the regional assembly of the UIC, reassuring that the international body backs the development of rail industry infrastructures in Iran.
"This proposal is a new idea which should be thoroughly assessed in the next UICrail Regional Assembly for Middle-East meeting which is to be held in May 2019 in Jordan," said İsa Apaydın.
The proposal referred to by Apaydın is what Managing Director of Iran's Railways Company Saeed Mohammadzadeh tabled on Monday at the UICrail Regional Assembly for Middle-East meeting in Isfahan. Mohammadzadeh invited the member states of the International Union of Railways (UIC) to set up a joint railway company.
Apaydın, who also acts as the Director General of the Turkish State Railways, said that, in Turkey and some other countries, the operation of the cargo trains has been bestowed to the private sector and as a result different aspects of Iran's proposition must be evaluated.
Referring to the expansion of rail network in Iran, he said that giant plans are followed in Iran and the UIC will support Iran in materializing these plans.
Touching upon Iran-Turkey cooperation in the rail industry, Apaydın added that Turkish State Railways made a lot of efforts to expand its rail cooperation with the countries of the region and as a result now the longest rail routes of the company is the ones linked with Iran.
He underlined that Iran and Turkey are the two poles of the rail industry in the region, and the two countries have had very close cooperation in this industry.
Adding that the cargos destined for Europe must travel through Iran, Apaydın highlighted that Iran is enjoying a distinct position on the path of goods transportation.
The current edition of the UICrail Regional Assembly for Middle-East meeting started on Monday in the central Iranian city of Isfahan and will be on for three days.
Iran, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Oman, and the UAE make up the Middle East Assembly of the union.
Iran has ramped up its efforts to develop and renew railway infrastructures in the country in the past couple of years, and numerous contracts and agreements have been signed with Russian and Chinese sides for this purpose.
Iran’s rail sector has become a magnet for rail engineering and rolling stock firms from all over the world.
Back in June, the CEO of Switzerland’s rail tracks maintenance machines manufacturer Matisa announced that the company will continue cooperation with Iran despite the threat of US sanctions after its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Matisa is the only western supplier of existing railway machines in Iran along with Austria's Plasser & Theurer.
Under the MoU, Matisa will cooperate on overhaul and retrofitting of ballast cleaners, tampers and regulators as well as sourcing of 21 track machines with Iran's RAI railway company.
RAI deputy head Maziar Yazdani said the initial value of the deal is 20 million euros, which will rise to 80 million euros later.