July 06, 2019 - Passenger trains are expected to start rolling again between the Iranian and Turkish capitals of Tehran and Ankara soon, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) announced.
Speaking to Tasnim News Agency, Mir Hassan Mousavi said the ceremony to launch the passenger train service between Tehran and Ankara would be held in coming days.
He further pointed to the train service between Tehran and Turkey’s eastern city of Van, saying that the weekly sale of its tickets would begin concurrently with the ceremony to launch the Tehran-Ankara train service.
A few weeks after Iranian and Turkish authorities finalized plans to launch train services between the two countries, a passenger train bound for Turkey’s Van left Tehran on June 24.
The once-weekly train service has a stopover in Iran’s northwestern city of Tabriz before crossing the border.
It takes around 24 hours for the Tehran-Tabriz-Van train to reach its destination.
Iran’s Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development Saeed Rasouli announced in early June that in addition to the Tehran-Ankara and Tehran-Van trains, tourist trains will be operated between the two neighboring countries.
He said Iran and Turkey have also finalized an agreement on tariffs on cargo trains traveling between the two countries.
Tehran and Ankara have set a $30-billion annual trade target, signing several agreements to enhance cooperation in various areas.
Turkey is one of Iran’s major trading partners in the region which has come under pressure from Washington to stop working with Tehran under a fresh wave of US anti-Iran sanctions.