EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Wagon Pars Company, a manufacturer of rolling stock, has manufactured 275 freight and passenger wagons since the beginning of the current Iranian year on March 20, 234 of which have already joined the country’s rail fleet, according to the company’s CEO.
“Out of the total rolling stock delivered to the operating companies, 14 were passenger and the rest were cargo wagons,” Mohammad Reza Mokhtari was also quoted as saying by IRNA recently.
The official noted that Wagon Pars currently produces each passenger and freight wagon at a cost of 120 billion rials ($400,000) and 10 billion rials ($33,000) respectively, adding that the figures have significantly increased compared with last year due to the rise in raw material prices.
“Wagon Pars had planned to manufacture 600 units of rolling stock in the current year. Yet, if the wagon operating companies don’t receive the financial support and special banking facilities promised by the government last year, our company will face a serious challenge in reaching the set goal,” he said.
According to the official, Wagon Pars has the capacity to build 150 passenger and 1,000 cargo wagons per year.
Wagon Pars, launched in 1974 in the city of Arak in Markazi Province, is a subsidiary of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran and the largest manufacturer of freight, passenger and subway wagons in the Middle East.
Since its launch about 46 years ago, the company has manufactured 12,000 cargo wagons (nearly 50% of the country’s rail freight cars), around 400 passenger and self-propelled wagons and some 300 subway wagons.
Kowsar Wagon Company, Derakhshan Steel Company, Polour-e-Sabz and Iranian Rail Industries Development Company are other major producers of rolling stock in Iran.
With the aim of reducing road traffic and battling air pollution, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development has placed the development of Iran’s rail sector on top of its agenda.
Iran’s Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2017-22) has tasked the government with increasing the share of rail in cargo and passenger transportation to 30% and 20% respectively by the end of the plan.
Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami says that before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the share of rail in cargo transportation stood at close to 13% and estimated that the figure will rise to 15% by the fiscal yearend. The share of rail in passenger transportation currently stands at around 8%.