10th High Level Working Group Meeting on the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Container Train
The 10th High-Level Working Group Meeting on the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Container Train was held on 20-21 August 2019 in Ankara, Turkey.
The Meeting was inaugurated by the Director General, Taşımacılık A.Ş. of Republic of Turkey (TCDD Taşımacılık A.Ş.) Mr. Erol Arikan in presence of the representative of Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications o of the Republic of Turkey. Director for Transport and Communications of ECO Secretariat Mr. Ahmad Saffari also welcomed the delegates. High-Level Delegations from the ECO Member States that are enroute of the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) railway discussed the issues relating to the operationalization of the ITI Container Train. Official representatives of International Organizations, including the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and also, the ECO Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ECO-CCI) represented by its affiliates, TOBB, BALO and representatives of private railway undertakings to be involved in the operationalization of the ITI Container Train attended the Event.
The Meeting renewed its commitment to the ITI Container Train in line with the recommendations of Turkmenbashi Declaration adopted by the 9th Meeting of Ministers of Transport of ECO Member States (1-3 May 2019, Turkmenistan) with regard to “the early operationalization of the existing railway routes by completing rehabilitation and construction of missing links.” Specifically, the Meeting succeeded in unifying the tariff rates for the ITI Container Train and agreed on the time table of the train’s operation. Therefore, with the concurrence of Pakistan to the outcomes of the Meeting during one month period, the ITI Container Train is now set forth to start its operations swiftly in October 2019, upon the notification by Focal Points of the enroute countries.
The Meeting resulted in providing the green light along the Turkish and Iranian and Pakistani railway segments of the ITI railway up to the outlet in Turkey paving way to Europe. The latter rail-based outlet has been put into operation by Turkey in March 2019, upon successful completion of the Marmaray project. Further, the Meeting elevated the infrastructure issues associated with the segments located in territories of enroute countries to the ECO level where these will be jointly addressed through a concerted effort.
Upon conclusions of the Meeting, Honorable Ali İhsan Uygun, TCDD Director General, welcomed the fruitful outcomes of the Meeting and called the enroute countries for publicizing the regular run of the Train.
The 11th High-Level Working Group Meeting on the ITI Container Train was suggested to be held in Pakistan in 2020, upon concurrence by host country.