By Mahnaz Abdi

‘National Rail’ a big step toward railway transport development

September 12, 2020 - 17:3

TEHRAN- It was six years ago in the Iranian calendar year 1393 (March 2014-March 2015), when for the first time Iran took a step for domestic production of rail tracks.

In that year, the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI), made an agreement with Esfahan Steel Company (ESCO) on the production of rail tracks.

After the agreement, ESCO provided necessary equipment and infrastructure during a course of two years, and in the Iranian year 1395, the company declared its complete readiness for the production of rail tracks required inside the country.

At that time, the company announced that it had the annual capacity for manufacturing 400,000 tons of rail tracks complying with the required standards.

In November 2016, ESCO signed a contract with RAI to produce 40,000 tons of U33 rails, and consequently launched its rail production line with €28.2 million plus 573 billion rials (about $13.6 million) of investment.

In June 2018, the first domestically-manufactured rail tracks were handed over to RAI.

The consignment contained 500 tons of U33 rail tracks which were produced according to the latest global standards including engineering standards EN13674.  

Mentioning the hand-over of the first domestically-manufactured rail tracks (known as National Rail) to the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, Iranian Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami said, “Moving toward self-sufficiency in this sector is a must and delivery of the first cargo of the National Rail has been a big achievement in this regard.”

He underscored that the country would become a major rail track producer in the region in near future.

Also speaking on the sidelines of the 20th edition of Iran’s International Exhibition of Building and Construction Industry (Iran ConFair 2020) on Thursday, the minister said, “Applying National Rail in the railway network is an honor for the country’s industrial sector.”

ESCO has also signed a deal with Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters for manufacturing 5,000 tons of rail tracks to be used by Khatam-al Anbiya in a major railway project.

The agreement was signed in a ceremony attended by Eslami, the former industry, mining, and trade minister, and the Khatam-al Anbiya chief in late February.

As reported, the mentioned rail tracks are going to be used in the construction of a railway that connects Chabahar Port to Zahedan City (both in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan).

According to Eslami, the Chabahar-Zahedan railway project requires at least 50,000 tons of rail tracks, 5000 of which is going to be supplied under this deal.

Iran’s Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan (2016-2021) stresses, among other things, the need to develop the rail transport network.

According to the country’s former transport minister Abbas Akhoundi, Iran needs to build 1,500 kilometers of railroads, for which it requires 1.8 million tons of rails.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Railways says Iran needs an average of 300,000-400,000 tons of rails per year to meet the needs of this key transport sector.

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