Russians to help fund Iranian electric railroad

Italians, Chinese, and French also have stake in similar rail projects
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Garmsar, Iran
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GARMSAR, Iran — A Russian bank has agreed to front more than $1.1 billion to finance the electrification of an Iran Railways line between the cities of Garmsar and Gorgan, reports Iranian television network Press TV.

Russian Railways, which will be involved in the construction of the project, says work will begin sometime in 2018. The construction contract includes the design, material purchase, and the equipment and construction of 32 stations, 95 tunnels, seven substations, and other support facilities. Operations will start within the next three years, the news agency reports.

Russia will fund the project as part of its $5-billion line-of-credit for infrastructure projects in Iran, according to the article. The financial lender was not disclosed.

The rail line also extends into Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, connecting parts of central Asia to the Persian Gulf.

Separately, the Russians have also expressed interest in electrifying more than 380 miles of rail between Iran’s capital city of Tehran and the northwestern city of Tabriz.

Earlier this summer, Russian locomotive supplier, CJSC Transmashholding, signed a $2.9-billion deal with industrial company IDRO Group on a rolling stock joint venture.
Transmashholding will have an 80-percent stake in the partnership and will assume responsibility from Iran’s Wagon Pars Company in producing the railcars.

Similarly, Iranian leaders have formed similar pacts with Italian and Chinese rail industry leaders on expansion projects. In July, Iran signed a deal worth $1.4 billion with Italy’s state railway company and another $1.7-billion finance agreement with a Chinese lender on an electrification project between Arak and Qom in Iran.

French companies have a stake in the future of Iran’s rail network, as well.

French rail supplier Alstom recently signed a joint agreement for new subway carriages in Iran.

The rail expansion projects and equipment purchases are part of a broader effort spearheaded by Iranian leaders that looks to expand its rail network from approximately 9,320 miles to more than 15,000 miles by 2025.

See the original story online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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