Following the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Tehran and based on the two countries’ resolve to implement bilateral agreements on connecting railway lines, the 10-kilometer Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) Railroad, with some 8 kilometers falling to a share of Azerbaijan and two kilometers passing through the Iranian territory, came on stream for a trial operation on Sunday.
With the commissioning of this railroad as well as the completion of Rasht-Astara railway line project, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be connected to Europe’s rail network via Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan will get direct access to the Persian Gulf.
The railway will give both countries extensive opportunities for ample productive uses of transit and transport capacities, in a way that commodities will be easily transferred from Bandar Abbas through Azerbaijani territory to Russia, as well as Scandinavian and European countries.
The project also includes the construction of a railroad bridge over the Astarachay River launched in April 2016 which forms the border between the two similarly-named towns of Astara in Azerbaijan and Iran.
Tehran and Baku have attached great significance to connection of their railroads as part of the North-South Transport Corridor, which is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. The corridor is planned to transport 6 million tons of cargo per year at the initial stage and 15-20 million tons of cargo in later stages.