Iran’s missing North-South corridor rail link proceeds with construction
About one-third of the railway line connecting Rasht and Bandar Anzali in Iran has been constructed. 11 out of 35 kilometres of track are in place already, and the line’s construction proceeds despite some technical challenges, said Abbas Khatibi, the deputy director of Iran’s Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company (CDTIC). “An important rail axis will be inaugurated next year”, he added.
The Rasht-Astara railway link has been highlighted as one of the main bottlenecks in developing the International North-South Transport Corridor stretching from Russia, through the Caucasus region and Iran all the way to the Persian Gulf. Iran faced financial and technical difficulties forcing it to postpone the link’s construction for years.
However, now it is very close to completing a railway section that could prove crucial in extending the railway from Rasht to Astara. The Rasht-Bandar Anzali line will be complete in 2023 and is also important because it provides rail access to the Caspian Sea since Bandar Anzali is a port city.
24 kilometres to go
Khatibi underlined that during the construction of the line’s first section, CDTIC had to tackle multiple challenges ranging from “the lack of credit resources, to the high value of agricultural lands and gardens that the line passes through, the high cost of land acquisition, and the difficulty of executive operations in swampy lands and preparation of soil materials”. These factors contributed to some delays in the initial construction planning.
However, works continued and are currently proceeding quite more efficiently. Twenty-four kilometres remain for the line’s completion, which will be ready in 2023. The project’s total worth is approximately 155 million US dollars.