Govt. to pay $223m for supporting passenger rail transport companies

June 8, 2020 - 15:6

TEHRAN - Head of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) says 9.4 trillion rials (about $223.8 million) has been allocated for compensating the damages caused by the coronavirus outbreak for passenger rail transport companies.

Speaking in a press conference on Monday, Saeed Rasouli said the mentioned companies will be offered facilities with low-interest rates as of the said day.

According to Rasouli, the government has provided the facilities for these companies to compensate for the damage caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus, especially the decline in the passenger traffic.

“63 companies are going to benefit from the mentioned facilities,” the official said.

He further noted that all suburban and intercity trains are currently operating in accordance with the health protocols and social distancing standards.

Rasouli also announced that railway borders will be opened on new routes in the coming days, adding that the borders of Razi, Turkey, and Astara are open and the borders of Sarakhs and Incheh Borun will be opened soon.

Mentioning his organization’s plans for the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 20), the official said 2,000 new locally-made wagons and locomotives are going to be added to the country’s railway fleet by the end of the current year.

According to the deputy minister, 144 different types of domestically-made wagons and locomotives worth 2.69 trillion rials (about $64 million) were put into operation in the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-May 20), which shows a 138 percent increase compared to the previous year’s same period, in terms of value.

Of the said 144 units 56 were added to the railway fleet in late April in a ceremony attended by Transport and Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami.

Last year, a total of 788 wagons and locomotives worth $12.7 trillion (about $302 million) were added to the railway fleet, 74 percent more than its preceding year.

Currently, 2,260 different types of locomotive parts and equipment are being produced in the country, according to Rasouli.

The information related to these parts and the companies that are manufacturing them are registered in a comprehensive system which is called “Integrated System of Surge in Production”, and rail companies can use this system to supply their required locomotive parts.

EF/MA

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