Iran plans 1,200 km of new rail track amid infrastructure push: Minister

Press TV – The Iranian government is pushing to boost infrastructure spending with a plan to launch 1,200 kilometers of new railway lines, according to the country’s transportation minister.

Mohammad Eslami said on Wednesday that the new rail tracks will be finished before the current administrative government leaves offices in August 2021.

Eslami said Iran’s railway company is also expected to expand local rail line network in Iran by 200-400 kilometers over the next 18 months.

The minister made the comments while unveiling 56 new rolling stocks manufactured inside Iran. He said 2,000 new sets of carriages and locomotives will be delivered to the railway companies in Iran in the current calendar year ending March 2021.

“We hope next year we would have a railway with maximum level of development and functionality,” said Eslami.

Iran has significantly increased spending for rail infrastructure development over the past years as it seeks to use the network for increased freight transportation both inside Iran and into the neighboring countries.

The country aims to reach a total length of 16,000 kilometers for its railway network by the summer of 2021. That would place Iran high in the list of 20 countries in the world in terms of the length of the railways.

Reports on Wednesday said that rail freight between Iran and neighboring Turkey had reached an all-time high of 187 wagons on a single day.

Eslami also said that rail freight across Iran and into neighboring countries had increased by 25 percent in the first 35 days of the new calendar year starting March 20.