EghtesadOnline: Track laying of Qazvin-Rasht Railroad will be completed within a month and the rail route will be ready to come on stream by the end of the current Iranian fiscal year on March 20, 2019.
The announcement was made by the CEO of the Railway Services and Technical Construction Engineering Company affiliated with the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways.
“At present, cargo transportation from Finland to India takes around 45 days. When the Qazvin-Rasht Railroad comes on stream, it will help reduce the time to 21 days,” Mostafa Moeini was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
The official added that the rail route consists of 285 kilometers of main and branch lines, according to Financial Tribune.
Up until now, different top officials from the Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi to IRIR officials have set several deadlines for the completion of the project, none of which has been met.
The railroad connecting the two Iranian cities of Qazvin and Rasht passes through woods and mountains, and includes 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 Province.
Qazvin-Rasht Railroad 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, 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.