Economy, Business And Markets

Siemens to Develop Iranian Railroads

Siemens to Develop  Iranian RailroadsSiemens to Develop  Iranian Railroads

Iran’s National Railway Company and German conglomerate Siemens transportation subsidiary, Siemens Mobility, have signed several memoranda of understanding in Tehran on Wednesday to develop Iran’s railroads.

The agreements concern electrification of Tehran-Mashhad railroad and Tehran-Isfahan high-speed train; Iran's procurement of 500 passenger cars and development of the country's railroad infrastructure as well as providing consultation and technology, according to Iran's Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

Siemens will be in charge of electrification of Tehran-Mashhad railroad, equipping the route with signaling systems, provision of locomotives and full maintenance services, IRNA reported.

Tehran has already been in talks with Chinese companies for financing the 1,000-km double-tracked route between Tehran and Mashhad.

Back in June, NRC Director Mohsen Pourseyyed-Aqaei, said the Central Bank of Iran was holding negotiations with China to attract investments worth $2 billion for the project.

Global Construction Review earlier reported that Iranian and Chinese officials finalized an agreement to electrify this line, with 85% of the $2.1 billion cost to be financed through Chinese loans.

The project is expected to take 42 months, followed by a five-year maintenance period. It will be carried out by Iranian infrastructure engineer MAPNA Group and China’s CMC and SU Power.

When this line is fully modernized, 70 Chinese locomotives will zoom along it at 250 km/h. Together with improved track and signals, this is expected to cut the journey between Tehran and Mashhad from about 12 hours to six, and increase freight capacity to 10 million tons a year.

This will be a strand of China’s Silk Road. The proposal was put forward by He Huawu, chief engineer of China Railway Corporation. The route runs from Urumqi in western China, through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, hitting Ashgabat in Turkmenistan before crossing south into Iran and down to Mashhad.

Also under another deal on Tehran-Isfahan high-speed railroad, Siemens is to prepare a proposal, including technical and financial requirements for procurement of high-speed locomotives and signaling systems for the route.

The rail linking Tehran, Qom and Isfahan is going to be the showpiece of the country’s entire rail network: a modern double-tracked line running at 400 km/h–the only genuinely high-speed project presently underway.

Work on the $2.7 billion project began in February 2015, undertaken by the China Railway Engineering Corporation and Iran’s Khatam Al-Anbia Construction. Completion is scheduled for 2019.

A considerable part of the work will involve building or rebuilding stations, and some of this has been won by AREP, the multidisciplinary design arm of French state-owned rail operator SNCF.

Based on Iran's 2025 Vision Plan, the country’s existing lines are to be electrified and double-tracked, and about 12,000 km of new lines are planned, nearly doubling the size of the network.

Pourseyyed-Aqaei said in October that the NRC had identified $25 billion worth of rail projects, plus “incentive packages” to attract domestic and foreign investment.

Also on December, Iran signed a contract worth €1.2 billion with Russia on electrifying the 450-kilometer-long Garmsar-Incheh Boroun Railroad in northern Iran, according to the general manager of Northern Iran Railroads Company.

"Based on the preliminary agreement, the project will take three years to complete," Yousef Geran-Pasha added.

Iran’s northern rail network starts from Garmsar Station in Semnan Province and passes through Mazandaran Province to end at Gorgan Station.