At a ceremony, on Monday, the construction operation for electrifying a train line, linking north-central Iran to the northeastern border with Turkmenistan, officially kicked off.
Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development, Abbas Akhoundi and a host of Russian and Iranian officials were present at the ceremony.
The Russian side had already signed an agreement to provide 1.2 billion euros finance to electrify the 430-kilometer-long railroad connecting the city of Garmsar in Semnan Province with the city of Incheh Borun to its northeast in Golestan Province.
The operation started from 2 points in Sari and Gorgan
Also Saeed Mohammadzadeh, Deputy Road Minister and CEO of Railway Company, Tehran Governor, MP members of the Civil Affairs Committee of Iranian parliament along with a group of deputies and leading railway directors were among the attendants.
It is noteworthy that the rail track in the Garmsar-Incheh range is one-way with a length of 495 kilometers in Semnan province and ends in Golestan province with passing from Tehran and Mazandaran.
The first part of the route to be constructed has a length of 203 km and starts at an altitude of 851 meters above sea level and passes through the Alborz mountain range with a maximum elevation of 2115 meters above sea level.
The second part of the railway passes from areas adjacent to the Caspian Sea, which is in the plains.
“The implementation of the contract will improve the capacity of passenger trains and raise transit to 8 million tons,” said RAI (the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways) Managing Director Mohsen Poursaeed-Aqaei who signed the agreement in 2015.
The train line, among the first in Iran with a history of 80 years, extends to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan and links the Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and beyond.
The project will be financed by the Russian government and will be implemented in 36 months, which includes manufacturing all electric locomotives inside Iran, electrifying 495 kilometers of railway and building 32 stations and 95 tunnels.
“With the implementation of this contract, besides the electrification of the line, tunnels on the way will be enlarged, enabling Russian and other transit wagons to ply conveniently on it,” Poursaeed-Aqaei said.
“Overall, we will witness the establishment of an electrified and modern train line in the country’s north,” he added.
Russia will be financing the project as part of its $5 billion credit line for infrastructure projects in Iran. Russian state lender Vnesheconombank will grant another 2 billion euro export loan to the Islamic Republic.