Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway project inaugurated
Dec 21, 2021
TEHRAN, Dec. 21 (MNA) – The Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway project, known as the Eco Container Train (ITI), was resumed today by the container train move from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey.
In a ceremony attended by senior officials of Pakistani railway and the ministry of commerce, the ambassadors of Iran and Turkey, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and a representative of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO), Pakistani railways minister Azam Khan Swati said that the start of the container train move from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey was an old dream of the countries of the region, which has come true again.
Strengthening and expanding ECO rail cooperation can contribute to regional stability and peace, he added.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who also attended the ceremony, for his part, said that this development is a new stage in the program of advancing the policy of regional communication and trade between neighbors and other countries.
The regional business cohesion is in dire need of important projects such as the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway, he added.
The length of the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway is 6,500 km, of which 2,570 km is in Iran, 2,000 km in Turkey, and about 1,900 km in Pakistan.
As the main founders of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the three countries of Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan are set to resume the ECO freight train to promote trade and regional connectivity after the gap of ten years.
The decision for the resumption of the freight train was adopted at the 10th expert-level meeting of the Working Group between Islamabad, Tehran, and Istanbul railway communication project called 'ECO train' in December last year.
According to the recent trade agreements made between Iran and Pakistan, as the main founders of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the launch of the ECO freight train is a step towards regional communication among the three countries, facilitating trade and public transportation for the long-term economic benefits of the region.
ECO freight train will increase communications among Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, a move that was launched in 2009 with the aim of strengthening regional communications and trade.
The ECO container train officially started operating in 2009 according to the tripartite agreement among Islamabad, Tehran and Ankara, and the first train left Islamabad for Turkey via Iran on August 14 of the same year.