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EghtesadOnline: A total of 526 domestically-made or overhauled train wagons worth 7.94 trillion rials ($28.25 million) joined Iran’s rail fleet on Dec. 21, during a ceremony attended by Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Qasemi and the newly-appointed head of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Miad Salehi.

The added fleet included 500 new freight wagons worth 6.6 trillion rials ($23.48 million), one new and 25 overhauled passenger wagons worth $569,395 and $4.2 million respectively, the news portal of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development reported.

The producers of manufactured or overhauled rolling stock were Wagon Pars Company, Derakhshan Steel Company, Kowsar Wagon Company, Iranian Rail Industries Development Corporation, Ehya Sanat Company, Novin Sanat Company and Rail Raedaz Industrial Group.   

“At present, we have 950 locomotives in Iran, 200 of which went out of order during the 20 years ending March 20, 2018. A further 200 fell into disuse during the last three years, around 60 of which have been retired during the current Iranian year’s first seven months [March 21-Sept. 22]” Salehi was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency. 

The official said the country’s rail transport is currently using only around 500 locomotives.

“Our rail network stretches more than 15,000 kilometers, meaning the system requires more locomotives. Our passenger locomotives are 10 years old on average; as for the freight trains, the average age is 30 years. This increases the costs of repair and maintenance. IRIR owes rolling stock repair companies 20 trillion rials [$71 million]. We need an additional 30 trillion rials [$106 million] to pursue the proper renovation and repair of our old rolling stock,” he added.

Salehi noted that during the seven months to Sept. 21, there were an average of 1.5 train accidents per week. He called for urgent measures by the government to help IRIR launch a modern, well-equipped repair and renovation department.