Economy, Domestic Economy

Qazvin-Rasht Railroad to Roll in Summer

Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said the under-construction railroad connection between Qazvin and Rasht will be completed and come on stream by the end of summer.

He was quoted as saying by the ministry’s news service that the 164-kilometer-long project, with an estimated value of 25 trillion rials (over $650 million), has made 91.5% progress.

The railroad passes through woods and mountains, including 25 kilometers of tunnels and 8.7 kilometers of bridges, making its construction difficult.

The route includes Iran’s biggest rail bridge with a length of 1.43 km on the river of Sefidroud in the city of Manjil, in Gilan.

Qazvin-Rasht is a missing link in the International North-South Transport Corridor, which will connect Iran with Russia’s Baltic ports and give Russia rail connectivity to both the Persian Gulf and the Indian rail network.

However, railroads are needed to complete the global linkup, including a link between Rasht and the Caspian port city of Astara.

Azerbaijan has reportedly agreed to invest $500 million to help Iran build that line.

Astara will also be connected to the Azeri border, where a recently-constructed railroad extends into Azerbaijan.

When completed, the INSTC is expected to increase the volume of commodities currently traded between Iran and Azerbaijan from 600,000 tons to 5 million tons per year, dramatically increasing bilateral trade from the current $500 million per year.

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