ArmInfo. Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi said that the country is trying to connect the northern city of Rasht to Turkey via railroad, according to ilna.ir.
"We are developing all railroads from Rasht to Zanjan and Tabriz cities. The railroad would connect the cities to Turkey, Armenia and Nakhijevan," he said.
He said that boosting train speed is also considered besides boosting the capacity of loads. Akhoundi continued that the process includes Tabriz and Gilan cities and connecting them to Azerbaijan.
He noted that Iran aims to expand railroads from Qasr-e Shirin to Iraq and then to Syria and to Mediterranean Sea through Kurdistan.
The railway from Armenia to Nakhijevan is idling due to the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh. So, a feasibility study of a railway connecting Armenia and Iran has been developed.
To recall, Armenia and Iran signed a concession agreement in May 2012. In cooperation with Dubai-based investment company, Rasia FZE, a feasibility study of the Southern Railway project was developed. It is anticipated that the construction will take 6 years. The feasibility study of the project Southern Railway of Armenia (Iran-Armenia railway) is ready. The railway is supposed to connect Asia with Central Europe. It will be 305 km long and will consist of 86 bridges and 60 tunnels. The estimated cost of the project is $3.5bn. According to the presented project the construction will be finished in 2022. It is anticipated that the annual freight activity on the railway route from Gagarin Station (Gegharkunik region) to Agarak (Syunik region) will total 25 million tons. This route is by 44 shorter than the earlier planned railway section Gavar-Agarak. It will be linked to the operating railway network. The launch of the Southern Railway of Armenia and Southern Highway of Armenia was announced in Jan 2013. Then a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the South Caucasus Railway of Armenia, Ministry of Transport and Communications of Armenia and Rasia FZE.