Domestic Economy

Railroads to Roar Ahead in 6th FYDP

Railroads to Roar Ahead  in 6th FYDPRailroads to Roar Ahead  in 6th FYDP

The economic policies outlined in the sixth five-year development plan (2016-21) focus on the development of railroad transportation and upgrading the railroad infrastructure.

To this effect, deputy minister of roads and urban development and head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Mohsen Pour Seyyed Aghaei, on Saturday announced the formation of a new committee to prioritize railroad development projects in line with the sixth FYDP general policies, according to the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Two of the 80-article general policies outlined by the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei for the sixth FYDP emphasize the development of rail transport to create comparative advantage in the sector. Development of rail freight transport through upgrading railroads and terminal facilities, and connecting the national railroads with regional and international transport corridors are also prioritized.

Iran’s railroads play an important role in transporting transit cargo across the country. According to IRIR head, while transit cargo transportation dropped 23% in the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21) over the similar period of the previous year, it grew 88% during the same time. This indicates a growing interest toward the use of rail transport for shipping transit cargo compared with other modes of transport.

> Transporting 25m Passengers p.a.

Iran’s railroads currently transport about 25 million passengers per year using 2,200 passenger wagons, IRIR’s deputy for passenger affairs, Mohammad Rashedi, said on Sunday, ISNA reported.

Based on the 20-Year National Vision Plan (2005-2025), the IRIR plans to increase the number of passengers using rail transport to 65 million per year, transporting 20 million passengers via suburban trains and 45 million though inter-city trains, he added.

The official emphasized the need to renew 2,000 passenger cars, noting that building new wagons would require an investment of up to 60 trillion rials ($1.8 billion at market exchange rate).

> Suburban Train Projects Back on Track

Development of suburban trains to facilitate commute between smaller cities to large megacities is also a top priority for the government.

Chairman of the New Towns Development Company Mohsen Nariman on Sunday said the company, with support from the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, plans to reactivate some high-priority rail infrastructure development projects which had been halted due to shortage of funds.

Hashtgerd-Karaj metro train with 77% physical progress is one such project which is expected to become operational by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2016), said the official. Electric train projects in two newly developed towns of Baharestan in Isfahan Province and Golbahar in Khorasan Razavi Province are among other projects to be reactivated this year.

The design of suburban railroads and connecting them with the urban transportation system are also included in a contract signed between the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways and the French designing company, AREP, earlier this month.

As part of this contract, the French company, which is a multidisciplinary consultancy and a subsidiary of France’s state-owned railroad company SNCF, will carry out redesign, redevelopment and expansion of railroad stations in Tehran, Qom and Mashhad, with focus on four basic approaches, including development of multimodal stations, development of public transport system, design of high-speed train stations and design of suburban railroads.