By Ayya Lmahamad
Iran has inaugurated its Chabahar-Zahedan railway line that will help transport cargo to Europe through Azerbaijan via Kazvin- Rasht- Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) railway, Azertag reported on July 9 with reference to the Iranian media.
The railway is located in Sistan Baluchestan province and will play an important role in uniting Asia and Europe, as well as developing the region and reviving international trade.
The Chabahar-Zahedan railway line connects not only the two Iranian cities but also the province of Sistan Baluchestan, where the port of Chabahar is located, along with the national railway system. This indicates that, along with the port of Bandar Abbas on the Gulf coast, the port of Chabahar will have access to the international North- South transport corridor. Thus, Gulf countries will use the port of Badar Abbas and South-East Asian countries will use port of Chabahar to trade with Europe through the international North- South transport corridor.
The railway connecting the Azerbaijani and Iranian cities of Astara has already been put into operation as Azerbaijan’s infrastructure is ready to receive and send large volumes of cargo. In addition, Azerbaijan has completed the construction of the Baku- Astara highway, as well as the Alat international sea trade port, leading to cargo transshipment increase.
Presently, the Kazvin- Rasht section of the Kazvin- Rasht- Astara railway is in operation. Work is underway on the section of the Rasht- Astara railway.
After its completion, Chabahar- Zahedan road along with Rasht-Astara railway will secure Azerbaijan’s position as an international transport hub.
It is expected that 150 kilometers of 628-km Chabahar- Zahedan road will be built and completed by the end of 2020. Rapid pace of construction suggests that the entire road will be completed in the next three years.
The Iranian ministry of roads and urban development estimates that upon completion, the railway will transport an estimated 927,000 passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight per year.
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