Financial Tribune- The construction of Iran’s biggest rail bridge will be completed in a fortnight, a deputy minister of roads and urban development announced.
Kheirollah Khademi added that the project has been designed and implemented by domestic engineers and will be completed by January 19, ILNA reported.
The 1.43-km bridge will connect the river banks of Sefidroud in the city of Manjil, northern Gilan Province. It is part of the under-construction Qazvin-Rasht railroad, which is reportedly in its final stages.
“Rail tracks for 86 kilometers of the line have been laid and the remaining 60 km are ready for track-laying,” said Khademi, who is also the CEO of Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructure Company, affiliated to the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.
From Rasht, the railroad will be connected to the port city of Astara, further stretching across the border to Azerbaijan.
These projects are the missing links in the International North-South Transport Corridor, which aims to connect Northern Europe to Southeast Asia via the railroads of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.
The INSTC will connect Iran with Russia’s Baltic ports and give Russia rail connectivity to both the Persian Gulf and the Indian rail network.
This means that goods could be carried from Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and further to Baku. They could then pass across the Russian border into Astrakhan before proceeding to Moscow and St. Petersburg, then onward into Europe.
The corridor would substantially cut the travel time for everything from Asian consumer goods to Central Eurasia’s natural resources to advanced European exports.
When completed, the INSTC is expected to increase the 600,000 tons of commodities currently traded between Iran and Azerbaijan to 5 million tons per year, dramatically increasing bilateral trade from the current $500 million per year.