Tehran welcomes ECO train

August 24, 2009

TEHRAN – The first Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) freight train connecting Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, arrived in Tehran on Sunday.

The Iranian Roads and Transportation Minister Hamid Behbahani, ECO Secretary General Khurshid Anwar, and ECO member countries’ ambassadors to Tehran attended the welcoming ceremony of the ECO train, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN) reported.
The Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul train left Islamabad’s Margala Station on August 14 en route to Istanbul’s Haydarpashsa Station via Tehran.
According to Press TV, the freight train is supposed to cover a 6,500-kilometer journey in 15 days. It is estimated that 1,924 kilometers of the rail link passes through Pakistan, 2,570 kilometers through Iran and 2,006 kilometers through Turkey.
According to media reports, the train is carrying 20 containers, 14 of which will be off-loaded in Tehran while the remaining six are bound for Istanbul.
The concept of such a train was proposed at the 18th Regional Planning Council of the ECO held in March 2008 at Islamabad.
The train aims to enhance regional cooperation among ECO member states and facilitate the socio-economic progress of member states.
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities.
In 1992 ECO expanded to include seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.