1st Russian Rail Consignment Leaves Caspian Port For Iran

Tehran Times, Iran
July 29 2004

1st Russian Rail Consignment Leaves Caspian Port For Iran

MOSCOW (IRNA) – In an official ceremony attended by the Russian Prime
Minister Mikhail Fradkov, the first consignment of goods transported
by railway left the Russian coast of Caspian Sea on Wednesday for
Iran within the framework of the North-South International Transport

The ceremony was attended by a number of Russian officials including
managing director of the Russian Railways, Genaddy Fadyev, his
Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Sa’id Nejad, ambassadors of several
countries to Russia and Iran’s charges d’affaires in Moscow.

Meanwhile, the new railway line connecting Yandyki station to Olya
port was inaugurated. Speaking at the ceremony, Fadyev underlined the
significance of making Yandyki-Olya railway line operational and
said, “Given the remarkable reduction in the expenses and time of
shipment of goods, more consignments will be shipped via North-South
Corridor in future.”

Turning to the low cost of shipping goods between Asia and Europe via
this corridor, he noted that transit of commodities via Iran will be
the most cost-effective, given that the route links Asia to Russia
and Europe, in particular northern Europe.

The 49-km railway line between Olya port on the Caspian coast and
Yandyki railway station connects the port city to the country’s
railway network.

The project cost three billion roubles, equivalent to 103.44 million
dollars. The related fund was included in Russia’s transportation

The North-South Corridor is chaired on a rotation basis by one of its
three founders: Iran, Russia and India. Iran chairs the corridor in

Seven countries including Iran, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Belarus,
Tajikistan and Oman have access to the corridor according to the

Meanwhile, applications of Ukraine, Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia and
Bulgaria for membership in the treaty are currently being examined.

Turkey also recently applied for membership in the North-South

Development of this international corridor will facilitate shipment
of goods between Asian and European states via the shortest route and
at lower cost compared to the Suez Canal.

The Qazvin-Astara railway project, which was proposed by Fadyev to
his Iranian counterpart during his visit to Tehran in early spring,
is one of the projects targeting the development of North-South

Putting the cost of the project, which is to be financed by Russia,
at 177 million dollars, he noted that Russian engineers are now
working it out. He added that a tripartite Russian, Iranian and Azeri
consortium is now being established to implement the project.

At the end of a two-day meeting in Moscow on May 21, the heads of
railway companies from Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan signed a
tripartite memorandum of understanding (MOU) on expansion of railway

According to the MoU, they reached agreement on forming an
international railway consortium for implementing the project on the
railway due to link Qazvin to Astara via Rasht.