China quits Tehran-Mashhad railway electrification project

TEHRAN, Jan. 23 (MNA) – Iranian deputy road minister informed on Sat. that China has quit electrification project of Tehran-Mashhad railway.

As Saeed Rasouli told Mehr News Agency, a credit agreement had been signed with China to electrify the Tehran-Mashhad railway, and the Chinese had taken all necessary measures, issuing licenses and bank guarantees.

"But last year, the financier announced that it could not start the executive operation due to the problems it was faced with," Rasouli, who is  Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) added.

"In addition to funding the project through financing, the Chinese construction company was to provide the construction equipment and fleet and earn the consumed expenses via ticket sales revenue," he described.

The Iranian official informed that after China, the Islamic Republic will accomplish the project relying on its domestic financial resources, expertise, and capabilities.

The Tehran-Mashhad line is one of the prioritized railway lines undergoing electrification. With a length of 926 kilometers, the Tehran-Mashhad line is one the most frequented railway lines of Iran and one of the few double-track lines of the country.

The railroad connects the capital city of Tehran to the eastern city of Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province.

The highest possible speed on this route is reportedly 160 Km/h which is set to increase to 200 km/h after the electrification project is completed.

In July 2017, a 1.5-billion-dollar financing contract for the Tehran-Mashhad railroad was inked at the presence of the vice president of China Exim Bank (Export-Import Banks of China), the time Ambassador of China to Tehran Pang Sen, the time Deputy Iranian Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Road and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh Kashani, Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Saeed Mohammadzadeh, the time Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) for Foreign Exchange Affairs Gholamali Kamyab as well as Ali-Ashraf Afkhami, and the Chairman of Board of Directors and Managing Director of Bank of Industry and Mine as the guaranteeing body of the deal.

A consortium comprising Mapna Group Company, some Iranian companies, and the Chinese side were to collaborate on this project.

HJ/5127589

News Code 168894

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