Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

First Chinese cargo train arrives in Tehran

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The first cargo train from China arrived in Tehran on Monday after covering a distance of almost 10,000 kilometers.

According to Iranian media, the train has already entered the country through the northeastern Sarakhs border point.

It is carrying 32 containers each with a capacity of 40 square feet and has passed through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan before reaching Iran.

The train left China from the trading hub of Yiwu in the northwestern province of Xinjiang on 29 January. Its trip plan is to cover a distance of about 10,000 kilometers within 14 days.

This will be part of a Chinese initiative to revive the ancient Silk Road through which traders traveled from Europe to East Asia.

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First cargo train from China arrived in Tehran on Monday after covering a distance of almost 10,000 kilometers (Photo credit: Tasnim)

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced the new “Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road” initiative to connect stronger logistics networks with Asia, Africa and Europe by building more roads, railways and airports.

Beijing has launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with $100 billion in capital and the New Silk Road Fund with a capital of $40 billion to fund major infrastructure projects in the region, including those pertaining to the development of the New Silk Road.

Iran is strategically-located in the Middle East, sharing land borders with 15 nations, and sea channels on its northern and southwestern coasts. China sees Iran as a country that can play a crucial role in China’s New Silk Road initiative given its access to extensive delivery routes connecting to the Middle East and Eurasia.

Tehran has already pledged to support the New Silk Road initiative with an investment of $6 billion for the next six years, the Chinese media have reported.

Iran to link Europe, China via rail

Managing Director of Iranian Railways has announced the plan to connect China to Europe through Iran’s train route, Mehr News reported.

Speaking at the welcoming ceremony for the arrival of the first Chinese cargo train in Tehran, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) Mohsen Pourseyyed Aghaei said “countries along the Silk Road are striving to revive the ancient network of trade routes.”

“The arrival in Tehran of the train in less than a fortnight has been an unprecedented achievement,” underlined the official stressing “the train has travelled a daily average of 700 kilometers which outstrips truck and road transport.”

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First cargo train from China arrived in Tehran on Monday after covering a distance of almost 10,000 kilometers (Photo credit: Tasnim)

Pourseyyed Aghaei pointed out “the train trip reduced travel time for 30 days compared with maritime transport which marks a great advantage of the Silk Road as the main transit route over other roads.”

“On the basis of defined plans, the Silk Road railroad will be linked to Europe which means Port of Shanghai in China will be connected to Europe through Iran,” emphasized RAI managing director.

He highlighted that Iran’s rail transit volume in the current Iranian calendar year (Began March 21, 2015) has been 1.5 million tons while the figure will reach four million tons in the coming year bringing about a massive boost in the country’s rail transit.

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