Rail & Railways
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is slated to officially open a major railroad in the Northwestern province of East Azerbaijan where the new link will significantly decrease the rail distance between Tehran and the provincial capital city of Tabriz.
According to reports released on Saturday, President Rouhani will be in the city of Mianeh on Monday to inaugurate the Mianeh-Bostanabad railway.
The report said the 132-kilometer railway is part of a longer line connecting Mianeh to Tabriz, the metropolitan capital city of East Azerbaijan and a major business and industry hub in the vicinity of Turkey and the South Caucasus.
The new Mianeh-Tabriz railway would shorten the train travel between the Iranian capital city of Tehran and Tabriz by 114 kilometers while it would hugely facilitate transport between East and Northwest of Iran.
Authorities said construction for the remaining part of the railway, a 42-kilometer line from Bostanabad to Tabriz, would conclude after March 2020.
Plans for construction of the Mianeh-Tabriz railway, dubbed the “missing link” in the Iranian rail network, began 18 year ago when the government at the time sought to drastically shorten travel time between Tehran and Tabriz, currently Iran's sixth largest city.
Once finished, the railway would hugely boost cargo transportation from Eastern Iran to Azerbaijan and Turkey and to the continental Europe.
Iran’s railway network has expanded rapidly over the past decade with four new provincial capitals in mostly mountainous regions connected to the network over the past six years.
Government authorities said recently that the average track-laying work across the country had increased from 120 kilometers a year in 2013 to more than 180 kilometers in 2017.
Last month, an Iranian Member of Parliament said studies are underway to examine the feasibility of a rail route between the Northern city of Ardabil and the border city of Parsabad, which is a few kilometers away from border with the Republic of Azerbaijan, adding that the two countries will have a new rail link once the new route is constructed.
“Studies on Ardabil-Parsabad railway will be carried out within two months and having the project implemented, Ardabil province will get linked to the Republic of Azerbaijan railway network,” MP Mohammad Feizi told reporters.
The new Iran-Azerbaijan railway line would have a great importance in the development of relations across the border. The construction of the railway line will make a powerful contribution to the development of agriculture and tourism in Ardabil province.
Iran and Azerbaijan are already working on completing Astara-Astara rail route. A rail track of 160 kilometers between Rasht, the capital city of Iran’s Gilan province, and Astara, the Northernmost city of the province, is the final stage inside Iran which is under construction.
Late in August, Iranian Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development Saeed Rasouli announced that his country will soon start track-laying operations for 40 kilometers of Astara-Rasht railroad which will link Azerbaijan’s Southern city of Astara with Iran’s vast network.
Speaking while visiting the project, Rasouli said the track-laying process will be accomplished by Iran, adding that Azerbaijan has also invested $500m for building the railroad.
He urged the project contractor to take action to finalize platforms and unloading facilities.
Earlier in August, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani emphasized the need for efforts to exponentially expand the relations and cooperation of Tehran-Baku, saying that the railway project of Rasht-Astara is an important step for the region and securing the interests of the two nations.
Early in July, during a meeting between Iranian parliamentary delegation headed by Qolamreza Tajgardoun and Azeri Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev in Baku, both sides stressed the significance of launching Astara-Astara railway, and called for promoting volume of transportation and transit in the region.