Iran is located in the Southwestern Asia and in the Middle-East. The Official name is the Islamic Republic of Iran and its capital city is Tehran. The area of Iran is 1,648,195 square kilometer, standing at the 18th place in the world in terms of area.
It possesses land border in the North with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkmenistan, in the East with Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the West with Turkey and Iraq. In addition, it has sea border in the North with the Caspian Sea and in the South with the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea that the first two regions are amongst the significant oil and gas extraction regions in the world.
Due to its location in the central Euro-Asia, it has a strategic situation. This country is a member to the United Nations (UN), Nonaligned Movement (NAM), Islamic Conference Org., Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and Economic Cooperation Org. (ECO). Iran is a powerful country in the Southwestern Asia and has gained a significant standing in the economy of the world due to possessing the oil, petrochemical and natural gas industries.
According to the census, its population is over 80 million people.
The Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI)
Construction of railway in Iran was a great and national expectation, which this national wish came to reality in 1927.
October 15, 1927 marked the beginning of constructing the trans-Tehran railway; since the very time the construction of railway was commenced at three points from South – centre and North.
When the trans-railway was on the verge of completion, the Ministry of Roads and Transportation was committed to construct the other lines; the first line the construction of which started following the trans-railway was the Garmsar – Mashhad line. Construction of the said line was commenced on 15 March 1937, its infrastructure and rail laying up to Shahroud station (315 km) completed in 1941 and its operation began; but the constructional work from Sharoud onwards stopped due to the World War II, till end of war and removal of impediments, once again construction of this line resumed in 1947 by the Ministry of Roads and Transportation and the budget assigned by the Planning and Budget Org., and completed on 7 January 1956.
The Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI) is the subset of the Ministry of Roads and Transportation of I. R. of Iran. The President of RAI is Dr. Miad Salehi with the following resume:
Dr. Miad Salehi
Vice Minister, Roads and Urban Development, Chairman of the Board, and President of RAI
Salehi holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and is a member of the faculty of Iran University of Science and Technology.
The official was previously the managing director of the State Pension Fund.
Being a member of the board of directors of the Innovation and Prosperity Fund, advisor to the minister and head of new industry projects at the Industry, Mining and Trade Ministry, chairman of the Industry and Mining Committee of the Expediency Council Secretariat and advisor to the Vice President for Science and Technology are also on Salehi’s resume’.
Salehi also has scientific and professional backgrounds in rail industry, including the publication and presentation of several articles in ISI journals and prestigious international conferences in the field of rail, as well as experience in several passenger and freight rail companies.
Currently, RAI has over 10500 km length of lines and 9000 km is under construction; and based on the Vision 2025 the length of the rail lines in Iran must reach up to 25000 km. One of our short-term plans for developing transport is to increase the rate of passenger transport from 27 million passengers to nearly 40 million passengers and the rail tonnage to increase from the current 36 million tons to 92 million tons by the end of 2020. Therefore, share of the rail in transporting goods and passengers should be increased to 30% and 18% respectively by 2025. Also, by measurements taken, rail transit has reached a growth of 100% in comparison with the last year.
The Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI)
Construction of railway in Iran was a great and national expectation, which this national wish came to reality in 1927. October 15, 1927 marked the beginning of constructing the trans-Tehran railway; since the very time the construction of railway was commenced at three points from South – Centre and North.
When the trans-railway was on the verge of completion, the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development was committed to construct the other lines; the first line the construction of which started following the trans-railway was the Garmsar – Mashhad line. Construction of the said line was commenced on 15 March 1937, its infrastructure and rail laying up to Shahroud station (315 km) completed in 1941 and its operation began; but the constructional work from Sharoud onwards stopped due to the World War II, till end of war and removal of impediments, once again construction of this line resumed in 1947 by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development and the budget assigned by the Planning and Budget Org., and completed on 7 January 1956.
Current status of RAI
The Railways of the Islamic Republic of Iran (RAI) is the subset of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development of I.R. of Iran. Currently, RAI has about 11000 km of rail network and 9500 km is also under construction. The constructions of some lines are being started and needs to be contributed and invested by the national and international private sectors.
By taking the Iran’s Vision Policy of 2025 into consideration, there are plans to expand the nationwide railroad line to 25.000 km. One of the short-term plans of transportation development is to enhance and promote the current transportation of 28 million passengers to 45 million passengers. To do so, we need to add 18% passenger trains to the Rail Wagon Fleet by March 2018. With regard to the short-term plans, the amount of freight transportation will also need to be promoted from the current state of 34 million tons to 92 million tons. RAI will also need to
add 11000 freight wagons to the Rail Wagon Fleet to achieve this goal so that the market share of Railway Transportation will be 30% of freight transport and 18% of passenger transport by 2025.
Infrastructure key rail projects
Many infrastructure projects are being carried out by RAI to develop new railway lines and to supply the rolling stocks; upon realization of these projects Asia will be connected to Europe that could bring many advantages to the Middle-East countries and the region as well. Below are just some internationally important projects:
- Construction of Qazvin – Rasht – Astara Route: (372 km) is considered as the key route on the North – South corridor and is among the heaviest rail projects of Iran. It consists of three divisions:
· Astara – Astara: It will be accomplished by the second half of 2017.
· Qazvin – Rasht: track will be utilized by mid-2017
· Rasht- Astara : route will be constructed by Azerbaijan financing
- Connection to Iraq through two projects:
· Short-term project of Khorramshahr – Basra (51 km); operational work has been commenced by Iran with 16 km of length and the studies for the route in Iraq is in the final phase;
· Long-term project of Arak-Kermanshah-Khosravi-Qaneqin (536 km); sub-structuring from Arak to Kermanshah is underway.
- Construction of Sangan – Herat:
In order to complete Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and china Corridor: Constructing two blocks in the territory of Iran was completed and opened in 2016 (Summer 1395).
Construction of the third block’s infrastructure in the territory of Afghanistan is completed by the Government of Iran and its superstructure is under construction.
- Double-tracking the Mianeh – Bostanabad – Tabriz route (202 km), upon completion of this project Mianeh - Tabriz will be shortened about 200 km. Furthermore, this route will increase the speed as well as the transportation capacity on the East – West transit corridor.
- Chabahar Port- Birjand- Mashad project (1330 km) aims to make a rail link from Sarakhs to Chabahar in the south to connect CIS countries to the Persian Gulf. Executive operations are already started.
Ø Electrification of Tehran-Mashhad and Tehran-Isfahan High-Speed Train is being constructed by the Railway of China,
Ø By infrastructure reconstruction and reformation and suitable fleet supplement of Tehran-Mashhad route will be utilized over the next four years,
Ø The main part of Qom-Isfahan infrastructure operation has been finished,
Ø Garmsar-Inche Borun Electrification Contract was finalized by Iran’s President and the Railway Delegations’ trip to Russia in March 2017,
Ø An MoU regarding Railway Electrification Strategic Cooperation was signed between Iran and Russia Railways on 28 March, 2017.
-Projects under construction
Ø the route of Qom-Arak with the length of 146 km,
Ø Tehran-Hamadan with the length of 260 km,
Ø Tehran-Tabriz with the length of 600 km
Ø and Isfahan-Shiraz with the length of 493 km into High-Speed is under construction.
Italian Railways is cooperating with us for Qom-Arak and Tehran-Hamadan routes.
-Two new agreed routes among Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia:
- Bombay to Bandar Abbas and from Bandar Abbas by rails to Amirabad port and to Baku and Alta’s ports, continuing its way to Poti and Batumi ports and to Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria,
- Bombay to Bandar Abbas and from Bandar Abbas to Astara in Azerbaijan by railway and road and after that to Poti and Yabatomi ports.
-One of RAI’s under construction plans is connecting 4 Ports to the railway
· Shahid Rajaee Port,
· Imam Khomeini Port,
· Khoramshahr, and
· Boushehr Port
-Fleet: To Supplement the Fleet, Siemens is cooperating and financing for purchasing
- Diesel Locomotives,
- Electric Locomotives,
- Passenger Car,
- and Signaling
-International passenger train of Nakhchivan-Mashhad
Ø The train will be set up on January 5, 2017
Ø The establishment of the train is the result of a great number of negotiations and meetings of both railway experts which caused the fulfillment of the project.
-Silk Road transit train
Ø First Silk Road transit train started its journey from east china on January 28, 2016
Ø Entering Iran after14 days,
Ø Traveling 10400 km