By Mahnaz Abdi

Competitive advantage a key for railway development

October 23, 2017 - 20:47

TEHRAN- Creation of competitive advantage is the key for railway development in Iran, according to Saeed Mohammadzadeh, the managing director of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI).

In the general policies of the country, for example for preparing the five-year national development plans, railway has been always the main pivot when it comes to development of the transportation, Mohammadzadeh said in a press conference on Monday.

“Therefore, we, in all sectors, should try for creating some competitive advantage for the railway transportation in the country”, the official emphasized.

“Our duty is to make railway transportation competitive and being of service to the national economy”, he noted and reinforced his remarks by saying: “Railway transportation has a unique role in Resistance Economy.”

“In order to achieve the targets that the Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan has set for us [20 percent and 30 percent shares in passenger and cargo transportation, respectively] we should follow up very serious, fast and specified plans”, Mohammadzadeh opined.

Fruitful measures taken in rail freight transport

Elsewhere in his remarks, the managing director of RAI underlined that some big and effective measures have been taken in cargo transportation via railway in the country in the recent years.

He said that cargo transport capacity has been boosted through actions such as establishment of news stations, as some 20 new stations have been set up in the high traffic lines and some of these lines have become double-tracked as well.

Several deals have been made on supplying new freight wagons for the fleet and some wagons have been already received. For example, it could be referred to the deal with Russia on the joint manufacturing of 6,000 freight wagons through Russian finance based on a five-year loan, Mohammadzadeh stated.

“We are planning to develop the freight fleet through securing fund, domestic manufacturing, and using foreign sources”, the official noted.

While putting the number of freight wagons at 22,000 for the moment, he said the figure should reach 28,000 by the next four years and also at least 300 locomotives should join the freight fleet by the next three years.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Mohammadzadeh mentioned benefitting from private sector investment as an achievement in building infrastructures.

Planning to reduce passenger fleet average life

When elaborating on the RAI plans for the passenger fleet, the managing director said: “We are planning to reduce the average life of passenger fleet.”

He also mentioned the project of Tehran-Mashhad railway electrification and said based on this project the speed will reach over 200 km/h in this line.

“The $1.5-billion finance deal has been finalized and through the underway follow-up measures it is hoped that the related LC will be opened by the end of the calendar month of Dey (January 20, 2018)”, he announced and added that a consortium of Iranian and foreign consultants has been studying the project since six months ago.


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