Talks underway to launch Tehran-Istanbul train service

August 28, 2019

TEHRAN - Iran and Turkey are negotiating to launch a direct passenger train service between Tehran and Istanbul.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (IRIR) and the State Railways of the Republic of Turkey (TCDD) plan to start the service in the near future, the IRIR head Saeid Rasouli said, Mehr reported on Tuesday.

Both sides have been planning to launch the service for years, he added, noting that studies indicate that Tehran-Istanbul railroad could bring in considerable profits for the investors.

Earlier this month, the first rail service between Tehran and Ankara, capitals of the two neighboring countries, resumed operation after a four-year halt.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Turkey was the most popular overseas destination for Iranian travelers in 2018, accounting for 41 percent of all visits to other countries.

The eastern province of Van, the southern province of Antalya, and Istanbul, which is Turkey’s largest city, are the most popular destinations for Iranian vacationers.

In January-November 2018, 1.894 million Iranian tourists visited Turkey, 18.17 percent less than the same period in 2017, according to data compiled by Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The share of Iranian travelers in the total foreign arrivals in Turkey was 5.05 percent during the first eleven months of 2018, the ministry said.

AFM/MG

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