Domestic Economy

French Firm to Develop Iran Railroad Stations

French Firm to Develop Iran Railroad StationsFrench Firm to Develop Iran Railroad Stations

Among the deals signed during President Hassan Rouhani’s high-profile Europe visit last week–and perhaps one of the least publicized–was a memorandum of understanding signed in Paris between the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways and French construction firm Bouygues Batiment International for the development of rail stations in Tehran and Mashhad.

Based on the MoU, Iran will sign a Built-Operate-Transfer contract with the French company for the renovation of a rail station in the capital city, construction of a second station in the east of Tehran, as well as expansion of the busy rail station in Iran’s second most populous city of Mashhad in the provincial capital of Khorasan Razavi Province.

“The [Iranian] government and private sector will also participate in the projects,” said the head of IRIR, Mohsen Pourseyyed Aqaei in an interview with the Persian daily Forsat-e Emrooz.

Bouygues Batiment International is a subsidiary of Bouygues S.A., a major industrial group headquartered in Paris. In 2011, the holding had over 130,000 employees in 80 countries.

Back in July, IRIR signed a contract with French designing company AREP for the redesign, redevelopment and expansion of rail stations of Tehran, Mashhad and Qom.

Aqaei said that in cooperation with AREP, IRIR has carried out comprehensive studies regarding the development of Iran’s rail stations and the results will be used by Bouygues Batiment International.

According to the IRIR chief, plans are underway to promote easy access between urban and suburban areas across the country while integrating the fragmented national transportation system.

“The transportation modes are very fragmented. Not even one of the subways in Tehran is connected to airports or train stations,” he said.

The IRIR chief added that as part of the new projects, the car maintenance center will be relocated outside the city and the vacant premises will be used for the construction of hotels.

As for the second rail station, which is to be built in the east of Tehran, Aqaei explained that the station is to be used for railroads linking the north of Iran.

“Upon the completion of Tehran-Qazin-Rasht railroad, the station will play an instrumental role,” he said.

The government commenced the Tehran-Qazin-Rasht rail link years ago, but the project slowed down and later stopped due to financial issues. Iran has lately been in talks with Azerbaijan for investment in completing the project.

Aqaei noted that Bouygues Batiment International will earn return on investment by exploiting commercial spaces on the periphery of the stations.