Iran inks deal to export rail tracks to Afghanistan

January 5, 2021 - 13:42

TEHRAN – Iran’s Esfahan Steel Company (ESCO) has signed an agreement to export $4.332 million worth of rail tracks to Afghanistan, according to the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA).

The mentioned rail tracks will be used in the country’s railway development projects, IRNA reported.

Afghanistan is currently taking serious measures for developing its railway infrastructure and will be needing millions of tons of rail tracks to this end, and Iran as a major producer of rail tracks in the region can meet all its neighbor’s needs in this sector.

Iran and Afghanistan officially inaugurated a joint railway project called Khaf-Herat on December 11, 2020, to link eastern Iran to western Afghanistan. Some sections of this project were implemented by the Iranian side and Afghanistan was in charge of constructing one part.

Iran took the first steps for domestic production of rail tracks six years ago in the Iranian calendar year 1393 (March 2014-March 2015), in which the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) made an agreement with ESCO on the production of rail tracks.

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.

Later in June 2018, the first domestically-manufactured rail tracks (called National Rail) were handed over to RAI.

Mentioning the hand-over of the first domestically-manufactured rail tracks 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.

Iran-made rails are in full compliance with the latest international standards of rail production and now National Rails are being used in various railway development projects across the country including Chabahar-Zahedan, Yazd-Eghlid, Hamedan-Sanandaj, Miyaneh-Ardebil, Bostanabad-Tabriz, and Rasht-Caspian.

EF/MA

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