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Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan to establish joint railway company

Tehran, July 26, IRNA -- In the first specialized meeting attended by the railway organizations of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for establishment of a joint tripartite railway company, it was announced here Monday.

The document was signed by deputy head of Iran's Railway Organization for planning and international affairs, Abbas Qorban-Ali, deputy head of the legal department of Russian Railway, Youri Shevchenko, and deputy head of Azerbaijan's Railway, Mehdi Mehdiyev.

According to the inked document and given the significance of the north-south corridor, the three partners reached agreement to implement a railway project connecting the two cities of Rasht and Astara in northern Iran.

The joint venture aims to build up a railway route originating from Qazvin and ending up in Astara. It is to cross the cities of Rasht and Bandar Anzali.

In accordance with the MoU, each of the three signatories will allocate two million dollars to the project.

Meanwhile, the three sides announced their agreement on investing in other railway projects along the specified route.

On the sidelines of signing ceremony, Qorban-Ali Beik, said, "The three countries agreed to start the executive operations of the project as soon as possible. The project will connect Iran's railway to the city of Astara in Azerbaijan Republic via Rasht-Anzali-Astara route."

Predicting the expense of 250-km Rasht-Anzali-Astara route at 600 million dollars, he said that it will be implemented in 4-5 years.

He added that the railway between Bandar Anzali and Astara in northern Iran is expected to cost 200 million dollars.

The official noted that according to the planned schedule, Iran will take charge of constructing Qazvin-Rasht-Anzali-Astara railway route.

"To expedite implementing Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway line, Russia has proposed to invest and participate in this part of the project," he added.

Putting the primary annual capacity for transport of cargo along this route at two million tons, he said that the figure is expected to rise to 10-12 million tons in the coming years.

The inked document, whose draft was drawn up in Tehran, includes 12 articles.

... Payvand News - 7/26/04 ... --

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