First Tests of Africa’s High Speed Train in Morocco

03/02/2016 (Morocco World News - Morocco): According to Said Nassiri, the director of the TGV Exploitation Project, the tests started January 18, 2016.“These tests are to make sure that the performance of the TGV, including brakes, speed, and receiving electric power, is going well” the directors said.The train, which is considered the first of its kind in Africa, is expected to carry “approximately 533 passengers with 121 in first class and 412 in second class.”According to the same source, “the maximum operating speed of the train is 320 km/h,” adding that the “TGV will connect Tangier to Casablanca in 2 hours” instead of five hours on the current train.Nassiri said that they have chosen the best operators of the classic line, have trained them in France, and they will operate the new high speed trains in Morocco.He added that the prices of the tickets have not yet been decided and that they will be subject to a profound study...

EU launches institutional twinning project to support Egypt's railway system

15/02/2016 (Egypt Indipendent - Egypt): The European Union will launch Monday an institutional twinning project in support of Egypt's Transport Ministry that will be funded by the EU and implemented by Spain, reported state-run news agency MENA.The EU delegation to Egypt, the Transport Ministry, the International Cooperation Ministry and Egyptian National Railways will kick off the project, which will be funded by the EU with 1.3 million euros. Through cooperation between the EU and Egypt, the project will work to apply safety regulations on Egypt's railway system that conform to EU standards. The project is expected to be completed in June 2017.Transport Minister Saad al-Gyoushy, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, Head of European Union Delegation to Egypt James Moran and Spanish Ambassador to Cairo Arturo Avello will attend the project's launch.Egypt's maintenance of its railway system has come under fire recently following a series of accidents, some of which have been deadly.

Israel railways is going electric

05/02/2016 (The Jerusalem Post - Israel): Israel Railways is to undergone a major overhaul in the next few years, including a conversion to electric engines and the building of new stations.Transportation Minister Israel Katz this week approved the landmark NIS 28.3 billion, four-year budget for the project – the largest amount ever allocated to Israel Railways.Converting the entire rail system to run on electricity entails new rail cars, tracks and infrastructure, for which a budget of NIS 12b. has been allocated.The ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that the conversion will be done in several stages, with some lines ready before 2020 and the rest later...

First 'Silk Road' train arrives in Tehran from China 

15/02/2016 (The Jordan Times - Jordan): The first train to connect China and Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday loaded with Chinese goods, reviving the ancient Silk Road, the Iranian railway company said.The train, carrying 32 containers of commercial products from eastern Zhejiang province, took 14 days to make the 9,500km journey through Kazakstan and Turkmenistan."The arrival of this train in less than 14 days is unprecedented," said the head of the Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi."The revival of the Silk Road is crucial for the countries on its route," he said at a ceremony at Tehran's rail station attended by the ambassadors of China and Turkmenistan.The journey was 30 days shorter than the sea voyage from Shanghai to the Iranian Port of Bandar Abbas, according to Aqayi.

Turkey accelerates BTK railway construction

09/02/2016 (Trend - Azerbaijan): The work is being rapidly conducted to complete the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway in the Turkish province of Kars, the municipality of the Kars province told Trend Feb. 9.The BTK construction work will be conducted more rapidly after weather conditions improve, the municipality said.A 79 kilometer-BTK railway section stretches through Turkey, 58 kilometers of them account for the province of Kars."The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be constructed in 2016," the municipality said.Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. Azerbaijan allocated a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway’s Georgian section.A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the project.

Italian group inks deal to develop Iran railway

10/02/2016 (Trade Arabia - Bahrain): Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), an Italian state-run company, has signed an agreement with Iran’s Ministry of Transport aimed at developing the Islamic republic’s railway network, a report said.“We have held talks with China and some European countries for launching high-speed rail on affordable budget; I hope the talks will yield positive results,” said Abbas Akhoundi, Iran’s minister of transport, who signed the deal, reported Trend News Agency, citing Irna.“The Iranian republic intends to strengthen the country's infrastructure, and is considering 10,000 km of railways, thousands of kilometres of motorways, as well as ports and airports, and is in favour of partnerships between the public and private sectors, so the market is opening,” said Graziano Delrio, Italy’s minister of infrastructure.

Azerbaijan offers linking Iran to Finland by railway

19/02/2016 (Azer News - Azebaijan): Amid the global economic crisis, Azerbaijan with its favorable transportation opportunities is set to derive benefit from its transit potential in the full capacity.Azerbaijan, a historical transit center of the Eurasian continent located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, has proposed to link the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas to Helsinki, Finland, by railway.Taleh Ziyadov, the Director-General of the Baku International Sea Trade Port addressing the CIS Global Business Forum in Dubai said that Azerbaijan, which borders Iran to the south, sees itself connecting Iran with Europe through its northern border with Russia.“Geographically, by default, we are in a very good location," Ziyadov was quoted by Gulf News as saying.Speaking on logistics development as a mean to economic transformation, he stressed that the future is all about inter-modal transportation."Azerbaijan has set up robust logistics infrastructure by building competitive routes to effectively handle time-sensitive and high-value goods which have contributed to business growth across the region," Ziyadov added.

Iranian Experts to Explore Possibilities of Railway from Iran to Armenia

18/02/2016 (Asbarez - USA): A team of Iranian experts will visit Armenia in the near future to explore the technical possibilities for building a railway link from Iran to Armenia, according to Iranian ambassador to Armenia, Seyed Kazem Sajjadi.“We do not see any obstacles that could prevent the development of economic cooperation between Armenia and Iran,” the ambassador said when speaking at the opening of a conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Armenian-Iranian diplomatic relations.Regarding the Armenian-Iranian cooperation in energy sector, Sajjadi said the ‘gas for electricity’ swap program will continue. “We will expand bilateral cooperation in the framework of this agreement,”  he added.“We had good relations with Armenia during the period of international sanctions and, after their removal, these relations will become even better.  Iran and Armenia helped one another in the most difficult conditions and this format of relations will continue,” he said.


18/02/2016 (The Dollar Business - India): Iran has invited India to invest $8 billion in its infrastructural projects. The invite puts to rest several speculations about India’s capability to carry out prestigious projects in the country. The Iranian delegation that recently visited India has invited the Indian Govt. to invest in railways, ports, bridges and rail electrification.India has been maintaining a cordial commercial relationship with Iran even after sanctions were imposed on it by the West. Iran is hoping that India will proactively kick-start the investments as the country offers a huge potential in terms of connectivity and transportation of commodities through various rail projects.

  1. The prestigious 220 km rail-link in north-western Iran, between Rash and Astara, linking Iran with Eurasia and Central Asia
  2. The construction of a rail link between Masad in Iran and Herat, Afghanistan
  3. The 600 km rail link between the port of Chabahar and Zahedan, which will also be advantageous to India as it could foray into the Iranian railway network.

Iran Initials Contracts With Russia on Railways, Thermal Power Plants 

10/02/2016 (Sputnik News): Tehran initialed contracts with Russia in the field of railways and the construction of four thermal power stations, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei said Wednesday."Yesterday [Mohammad] Khazaei – deputy economy minister – was here. They have already initialed the document for the financing of two contracts — one for the railway and the other for the construction of four thermal power stations," Sanaei said at a conference dedicated to Iran's future after the lifting of sanctions.The contracts are worth $2.2 billion, he noted.Russia and Iran have a long history of economic and political interaction.During a meeting held in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani agreed to further expand bilateral cooperation, including among technological and commercial enterprises