By Kamila Aliyeva
Freight transportation via railways between Iran and Turkey has registered an increase in 2017.
As many as 414,000 tons of cargo have been transported via railways between Iran and Turkey since the beginning of the current Iranian year (started March 21), showing a 54 percent increase compared with the same period last year.
This was stated by Hossein Ashouri, director of Transit Commission at Iran Railways, during the meeting with Turkish State Railways’ deputy general manager Mehmet Uras and head of accounting and finance Bekir Bas in Tehran on November 13, Iranian media outlets reported.
“During our meetings over the past two days, we set the goal of increasing bilateral rail transactions to 1 million tons per year and in order to achieve this goal, we plan to reduce transport tariffs for 2018.
A meeting is scheduled for next month in Turkey to set the new tariff rates, according to Ashouri.
The official added that the two sides have reached an agreement, according to which freight from Turkey will be transited to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states and vice versa via Iran’s railways.
“To finalize the agreement, a meeting of Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan railroad officials will be held in Turkey in the near future,” he added.
Aiming to become a transit country, Islamic Republic, intends to expand the existing railways in order to align with the regional rail networks in the Persian Gulf and the subcontinent to Central Asia. The country has announced plans to invest $25 billion over the next 10 years in the modernization and expansion of its railway network.
The country plans to stretch out the nationwide railroad line to 25,000 kilometers by 2025 from under 15,000 kilometers now, with 7,500 km already under construction.
Over the first half of the current fiscal year, Iran exported about six million tons of goods by rail. However, the railways’ share in transportation of goods from the country’s ports is less than 10 percent. Iranian transportation ministry is planning to increase the share of railways in the transportation of goods from ports to 45 percent.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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