Tuesday, 14 January, 2020

“Iran to expand rail network by 1,500 kilometers by 2022”

Iran will further expand its railway network by 1,500 kilometers in the next two years as the country aims to accommodate much of the regional freight transportation through its rail corridors.

Iran’s transportation minister Mohammad Eslami said on Tuesday that the new railways would include high-speed lines, adding that some of the old and busy lines across the country, including those around the capital Tehran, will become double-track to increase safety and efficiency of the train services.

The new projects would increase the length of Iran’s railway network to over 16,000 kilometers, on par with countries like Kazakhstan and Spain and high in the list of 20 countries in the world in terms of the length of the railways.

The announcement comes nearly a month after Iran opened a long-awaited railway near the Turkish border to facilitate south-north freight transportation.

A railway connecting Iran’s eastern regions to Afghanistan is expected be ready until March while construction is underway for a key line connecting Iran’s Khuzestan region, in the southeast, to Iraq’s Basra.

The rapid expansion of the railways over the past years has enabled the government to connect key provincial capitals, especially those in the mountainous western regions, to the national rail network.

Among the lines expected to finish until 2022 is a railway linking Hamedan and Sanandaj in the west and in the vicinity of the border with Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Eslami said the highway network in Iran would also expand by nearly 600 kilometers by 2022, allowing more freight and passenger transport to take place across the country.

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