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Azerbaijan, Iran Plan to Launch New Passenger Route

Azerbaijan, Iran Plan to Launch New Passenger Route

Baku and Tehran are planning to launch a passenger train between Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan city and Iranian city of Mashhad.

This intention was sounded at a meeting between Javid Gurbanov, the Head of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC and Abbas Hajfathaliha, a member of the Board of the Iran Railways in Nakhchivan on March 3. During the meeting, the sides discussed launching a passenger train on the Nakhchivan-Julfa-Tabriz-Tehran-Mashhad route, and finding sources for funding the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway, Azerbaijan Railways reported.

The Azerbaijani and Iranian railways agreed to conduct inspection on the Julfa station in March, where a point for replacement of wheelpairs is located, consider and discuss the possibility of aligning the system of sale of railway tickets of the two countries. The railway companies’ next meeting will be held in April.

Commenting on details of launching the passenger train between Nakhchivan and Mashhad, Mansour Airom, Iran’s Consul General in Nakhchivan, told Trend that this train will run twice a week. He believes that the railway companies’ meeting on March 3 was aimed at laying a ground for inaugurating the plan of Azerbaijan and Iran to deepen cooperation in the railway transport section.

This cooperation was envisaged in a Framework Agreement between the Azerbaijani and Iranian governments on the coordination of railways of the two countries, which was signed by Iranian Minister of Transportation Abbas Akhoundi and Azerbaijan’s Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev during President Ilham Aliyev’s Tehran visit on February 23.

Currently, Azerbaijan and Iran are focused on expanding economic ties in various fields, including industry, agriculture, energy, alternative energy, and transportation. Iran’s export to Azerbaijan during the first half of 2015 decreased 55.36 percent to $42.52 million year-on-year. Azerbaijan’s export to Iran also decreased 67.11 percent to $11.16 million during that period.