The construction project of the Astara railroad bridge in the border city of Astara was inaugurated by the ministers co-chairing Iran-Azerbaijan’s Joint Economic Cooperation Commission during a ground-breaking ceremony at the zero point of the border separating the two countries.
According to a report by the ICT Ministry’s PR department, the construction operation of the International railway bridge of Astara, to be implemented on the joint border river of Astarachay, one of the most important railway projects in the region and the focal convergence point of international corridors, got underway in presence of Dr. Vaezi, the Iranian Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Shahin Mustafayev, the Azeri Minister of Economic Development, and also other high-ranking officials from both nations.
This 80 meter 3-span railway bridge, which is one of the most important parts of the project for connecting Azerbaijan’s railroad to Iran’s railway system, is going to be completed and to become operational by the end of 2016.
The Minister of Communication and Information Technology, who co-chairs the Joint Economic Commission, expressed during the ground-breaking ceremony of this project that: “By establishment of the Astara railway, the goods and cargoes from Azerbaijan, the Caucasus and Russia will enter Iran via the cross-country railroad system of that country, and will be redistributed to various parts of the globe from inside Iran, within the framework of the compound transport corridor.”
Mahmoud Vaezi further elaborated by saying that based on the agreement between Iran and Azerbaijan, construction of 8 km of this railway inside Azerbaijan up to the this bridge is part of Azeri government’s commitment, and added that: “Building 2 km of this railroad and also constructing a cargo terminal in the city of Astara is the responsibility of the Iranian government.”
He further stressed that by connecting the international railway system of Rasht to the city of Astara, and finally to Azerbaijan’s Astara, Iran will undergo a huge transformation in the transit sector, saying: “By establishment of this railroad transit route, and through connecting the Qazvin-Rasht route and then Rasht to Astara route, transferring goods and shipments of the Persian Gulf to destinations of Russia, the Black Sea, and Europe will finally find its true meanings, thus activating the north-south transportation corridor of the country.”
At the sidelines of this ceremony, we can mention the farewell party of the Iranian members of the Joint Economic Commission upon their entering Azerbaijan’s soil via Astara’s border bridge, and also the visit of Iranian high-ranking officials from the rail-bridge construction site, the railway route, and the construction site for the cargo terminal inside Astara.
The city of Astara is located in north-western part of Gilan province, next to the Republic of Azerbaijan’s border; the borderline here is defined by the Astarachay River.