Iran, Iraq to connect railways

January 29, 2006
TEHRAN (CHN) – The city of Khorramshahr in Khuzestan Province is going to be connected to Basra through a railway line.

“Based on an agreement between Iran Ministry of Roads and Transportation and Iraqi authorities, Iran and Iraq will construct railways to be connected to each other,” said Aliakbar Musavi, director of Arvand Free Zone Project.

The route of the railway will start from Khorramshahr, continue to the border city of Shalamcheh and then will connect to the city of Basra in Iraq. It was agreed that Iran be in charge of constructing the Khorramshahr-Shalamcheh railway while Iraq will build the Shalamcheh-Basra railway.

The distance between Khorramshahr and Basra is about 35 kilometers, 16 kilometers of which is located inside Iran. Iran’s Railway Organization is studying the route along which this railway will be constructed.

The current transportation road between Khorramshahr and Shalamcheh, which are both located in Arvand Free Zone, is turning into a 4-lane highway. Railway experts believe that it would be better to construct the railways parallel to the same route.

Musavi also explained that according to some talks between Iraq and Syria, Iraq’s railway might be connected to Syria soon. This way Iran will have a railway connection to Syria as well. However, results of this agreement have not been announced yet. Musavi also believes that the goods can be transported from Khorramshahr port to Iraq, Jordan, and Syria through the same railway.

“Considering that Iranian and Iraqi people are interested in making pilgrimages to the religious shines located in the two countries, transporting passengers and goods between Iran and Iraq through this railway will not only provide Arvand Free Zone with a high income, it also facilitates transportation to and from Iran,” added Musavi.

“A lot of infrastructures in Arvand Free Zone were destructed during Iran-Iraq war which we should reconstruct. The railway project will provide an income for the region to carry out its other projects,” said Musavi.

Constructions of the said railways are expected to be completed by March 2007.