Astara (Iran) – Astara (Azerbaijan) railway project plays a significant role in the implementation of the North-South international transport corridor and in increasing transit revenues of the two countries.
Rail laying on the 40-kilometer section of the Rasht-Astara railway in the province of Gilan in northern Iran will shortly begin, said Saeid Rasouli, President of Iran Railways, while visiting the Astara Railway Terminal.
He noted that the laying of rails was carried out at the expense of the Iranian government, but Azerbaijan invested $500 million in the construction of the railway.
Rasouli stressed that construction work at the Astara (Iran) – Astara (Azerbaijan) railway terminal was resumed after a long break, and numerous negotiations were held with the Azerbaijani side in this regard.
“The contractor of Astara-Astara project should create loading and unloading facilities in the terminal,” he added.
The projects implemented by Azerbaijan and Iran designed to integrate regional transport networks will increase the competitiveness of International North-South Transport Corridor.
North-South transport route envisages connecting India with the Middle East and the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe. The project aims to increase the efficiency of transport communications in the organization of freight and passenger transportation, to assist in increasing the volume of international transportations.
Within the North-South corridor, Astara-Rasht-Qazvin railway project envisages the construction of a new railway line in Iran, which will connect Astara, Azerbaijan to the Iranian cities of Astara, Rasht and Qazvin as well as the reconstruction of an existing railway in Azerbaijan.
Qazvin-Rasht line section has already been commissioned. The construction of the Rasht-Astara line will be completed in the next two years, thus the railway systems of Iran and Azerbaijan will be connected.
Recently, Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran have agreed to set up a working group to eliminate infrastructure restrictions and remove administrative barriers in the transportation of people and goods along the western route of the North-South corridor.
Earlier, Rasouli said that Azerbaijan Railways continued construction of a railway station and a cargo terminal in the Iranian city of Astara.
Azerbaijan Railways will build four terminals in Iran’s Astara. These terminals include oil and grain terminals, a terminal for processing containers and a general-purpose terminal.
A cargo terminal was built in Iran’s Astara with the support of Azerbaijan in the first quarter of this year. The Azerbaijani side took the terminal in a 25-year lease. The capacity of the terminal, built as part of the North-South project, is 2 million tons annually, and it is planned to be increased to 5 million tons in the future. (AzerNews/Business World Magazine)