Iran inaugurates critical INSTC railway section

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Ksardar1359

The railway section connecting Zahedan and Khash, in southeastern Iran, was inaugurated on Thursday, 10 November. This segment is the first part of the Zahedan-Chabahar route, which will be incorporated into the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and provide direct rail access to the Chabahar port, a key regional transport hub.

The completion of the whole Zahedan-Chabahar line is expected for the beginning of spring 2024. Moreover, as Ali ZIaee, Director of Transportation Research Groupe at ITAN, pointed out, this section is part of an even longer railway line linking the port of Chabahar to Sarakhs on the border with Turkmenistan.

Image: Inauguration of Khash-Zahedan railway. Source: CDTIC.

More details on the Chabahar-Sarakhs line

Ziaee provided some insights into what the expectations for the Chabahar-Sarakhs line are. “The volume of this railway line will start at 7 million tons annually and is expected to reach 32 million tons over five years depending on market demand”, he stated. During the first stage, the line will mostly benefit traffic from eastern Russia and CIS countries to the Indian Ocean, with a focus on transporting coal, fertilizers, oil seed, wood, and cotton.

In the second phase, when demand increases, the railway line will connect Europe with the Indian Ocean via the Persian Gulf. These new connections should significantly cut costs and transit times. The line will offer a new way into Iran east of the Caspian Sea. “The Chabahar-Sarakhs railway is a new solution for connecting Europe, CIS, and Russia to the Indian Ocean and consequently Persian Gulf countries and Southeast Asia”, Ziaee commented.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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