EghtesadOnline: Russia is reportedly poised to finance a railway line connecting Iran with its northern neighbor Azerbaijan.
According to ISNA, head of the press service of Azerbaijan Railways OJSC Nadir Azmammadov, has said that Russian Railways OJSC has discussed the terms of its participation in the financing of the Rasht-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) railway with the related parties in the Azeri capital, Baku.
The report said representatives of the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia attended the talks in which the Azeri side informed the partners about the projects and tasks ahead.
Baku believes the international transport corridor will improve Azerbaijan’s transit potential as well as its ties with the other two countries.
Participants in the talks reportedly signed a final protocol.
The trilateral railway project is aimed at connecting Northern Europe with Southeast Asia.
The railway line will initially transport five million tonnes of cargo when it is launched in the near future.
Last November, Iran and Russia signed an agreement worth 1.2 billion euros to electrify a train line, linking north-central Iran to the northeastern border with Turkmenistan, tasnim reported.
The agreement signed between Russian Railways and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) envisages constructing power stations and overhead power lines along the Garmsar-Sari-Gorgan-Inche Burun route in Iran.
“The implementation of the contract will improve the capacity of passenger trains and raise transit to 8 million tonnes,” said RAI Managing Director Mohsen Poursaeed-Aqaei who signed the document.
The train line, among the first in Iran with a history of 80 years, extends to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan and links the Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and beyond.
The project was also set to be financed by the Russian government and would be implemented in 36 months, which includes manufacturing all electric locomotives inside Iran, electrifying 495 kilometers of railway and building 32 stations and 95 tunnels.