Dec 27, 2021, 12:45 PM
Journalist ID: 1195
News ID: 84592126
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ECO container train resumes operation after 10 years

Dec 27, 2021, 12:45 PM
News ID: 84592126
ECO container train resumes operation after 10 years

Zahedan, IRNA – Director-general of southeastern district of Iran's railway Hossein Masoumi said that the first cargo train of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) rail corridor entered Iran on Sunday, carrying 150 tons of pink rock salt.

The train left Islamabad, Pakistan last Tuesday to reactivate the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul after a 10-year gap. It entered Iran through Mirjaveh rail border cross in southeastern Iran on Sunday noon.

The re-launch of the corridor was accomplished thanks to efforts made by the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Masoumi said, noting that the last train that passed through the corridor departed from Istanbul and went to Islamabad in 2009.

The significance of the corridor was exemplified in the high-level presence in the inauguration ceremony held in Islamabad when the train was leaving for Istanbul. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Ambassador of Iran Mohammad Ali Hosseini, and ambassadors of Turkey, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, had attended the event.

In that ceremony, Qureshi said that the inauguration of the train was the beginning of what was visualized by the ECO, as a project to reach economic integration.

“I want to promote economic diplomacy”, Qureshi said, promising the launching of the ITI passenger train in the future.

The idea was first raised in 2007, according to Masoumi who said that it has been put on the agenda in the 7th transportation ministerial meeting of ECO in 2008 with the intention of expanding transit in the region and beyond through rail connection between Pakistan and Iran and thence through Turkey to Europe.

Regular operation of the rail route could increase the volume of trade between the three countries and even between Asia and Europe, he said, adding that there would also be social benefits, including jobs and facilitation of humanitarian aid transport.

475 containers of over 5,000 tons of the United Nations humanitarian aid was sent from Turkey to Pakistan through 16 trains to help the flood-hit people, Masoumi mentioned.

 The corridor cuts transportation time to less than half of the maritime route, i.e. to 15 days which could even be reduced to 11 days.

The corridor covers 1,990 km inside Pakistan, passing through Quetta into Taftan at the Iranian border and on to Tehran and Tabriz covering about 2,570 km and thence to Istanbul after traveling 2,000 km in Turkey.


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