Pakistan railways seek better links with Iran, revival of ECO Train

IRNA — To speed up better rail links with Iran and for the revival of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) train service Pakistan railways has prepared a feasibility report of the ML-3 project, local media reported.

Iranian Secretary General of ECO Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour during his visit to Islamabad earlier this year had met with Pakistan Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad who sought cooperation of the ECO in restoring rail network among Islamabad, Tehran and Istanbul.

The ECO official during the meeting highlighted that services of the ECO Trade and Development Bank could be utilized for financial partnership by its member countries.

According to Pakistan railways the up-gradation of railway lines would not only provide better facilities to passengers intending to travel to Iran and then Europe but would also enhance bilateral trade.

The report says 385 kilometers long Rohri–Chaman railway line section of the project would be upgraded at the coast of US $ 523 while Quetta–Taftan railway section of the project would be upgraded at the coast of US $ 995.

The project would be helpful in connecting the mineral rich Balochistan province with other parts of the world. It would also improve cross border trade between Iran and Pakistan.

Quetta-Taftan Railway route is one of four main railway routes in Pakistan, operated and maintained by Pakistan Railways.

There are 23 railway stations from Quetta to Koh-e-Taftan. The line then crosses into Iran and extends to Zahedan.