Russian & Iranian railroads may become part of single int’l network

RIA Novosti, Russia
April 7 2004


MOSCOW, April 7, 2004. (RIA Novosti) – Russia and Iran share a common
view on a strategy of developing of international transport
corridors, Gennady Fadeyev, the president of Russian Railways, said
after talks in Tehran with Iranian Minister of Roads and Transport
Ahmad Khoram and the head of the Iranian Railways, Mohammad Saeid

Mr. Fadeyev’s statement was included in a Russian Railways press

“The sides agreed on a common development strategy for organizing
international transport corridors for both countries’ railroads. The
north-south corridor plays a key role here,” the press release notes.

During the talks, Mr. Fadeyev and his Iranian counterparts discussed
the possibility of transporting cargo by a Europe-Russia-Iran route
and which would eventually end in Madras, India.

The $177 million project to build a railroad from Astara (on the
Azerbaijan-Iran border) to Qazvin (200 kilometers northwest of
Tehran) was also discussed.

According to Mr. Fadeyev, Russian Railways can participate in
designing and building the railroad. There is also a proposal to set
up an Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia consortium to operate this section
of the railroad.

If this railroad is built and the border-crossing point at Julfa (in
the Nakhichevan autonomy of Azerbaijan) is restored the north-south
transport corridor will have three high-capacity outlets – a Caspian
Sea port, a railroad across Azerbaijan, and a railroad through

Iran displayed interest in cooperating with the Russians in
purchasing accessories: wheels, railroad car casting, rails and
sleeper cars. The press release says that the issues concerning the
delivering of safety systems was also discussed.

The Russian Railways president and Iran’s minister of roads and
transport discussed the prospect of setting up a direct, non-stop
Moscow-Tehran line. They hope that Azerbaijan, the line will pass
through its territory, will support the idea.

The economic advantages of the north-south transport corridor to
transport goods to and from Europe and Asia compared with the sea
route via the Suez canal were emphasized at the meeting, the press
release notes.

The cost of transporting cargo from Frankfurt by sea is estimated at
$5,670 for a 40-foot container, while transporting it through the
north-south corridor will only cost $3,670. The transportation time
will also be cut from five days to three, the press release says.