EghtesadOnline: Azerbaijan and Iran have agreed to build a railroad between Rasht, the capital of Iran's Gilan Province, and the border city of Astara in Azerbaijan as part of the International North–South Transport Corridor.
The decision was taken at the fourth meeting of the Working Group on the development of North-Southwestern route of the International Transport Corridor held in Baku recently, PortSEurope reported.
Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways Javid Gurbanov said during the meeting that within the framework of the project, Azerbaijan has fulfilled its obligations. From Astara station to the state border of Iran, 8.3 km of rail track have been laid and a rail bridge over the Astara River has been constructed. The construction of a train station on 35 hectares and terminals for unloading cargo are underway in Iran's Astara, across from the border.
The International North-South Transport Corridor is a multimodal transportation link established in 2000 in St. Petersburg by Iran, Russia and India for the purpose of promoting transportation cooperation among member states. This corridor connects India Ocean and Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via Iran, then is connected to St. Petersburg and North European via Russian Federation, according to Financial Tribune.
"The north-south transit route, in which the two countries are currently participating for the implementation of the Rasht-Astara railroad project, means a more convenient, cheaper and shorter route for the two countries, regional countries, and even for Asia, Europe and Africa, indicating that our cooperation is in the interest of the peoples of the region and the world,” said Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in a recent visit to Baku to meet his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.
According to Director General of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways’ International Affairs Office Abbas Nazari, IRIR is also in talks with Azerbaijani and Russian rail officials to run passenger trains from Astara to Moscow on the Astara-Astara route, in addition to commercial trains.