Freight train connecting Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey goes into operation after 10 years of hiatus

Islamabad, December 22 (PTI) A freight train connecting Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey, suspended for more than 10 years, has been relaunched to improve regional connectivity and unlock commercial potential. Between the three countries, media reported on Wednesday.


The three countries also plan to launch passenger train services on the same route in the future.


Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati, together with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Prime Minister’s Trade Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, on Tuesday, inaugurated the IslamabadThran-Istanbul (ITI) freight train at the Railway Station. Margalla.


Ambassadors from Turkey, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan were also present on the occasion.

The ITI freight train, which will run every Tuesday, has started its journey from Margalla Station in Islamabad to its first destination in Zahedan, Iran, from where it will arrive in Istanbul, a senior railway official said. A senior railway official.


The first train from Islamabad to Istanbul was inaugurated on August 1, 2009.
As a result, the first train from Istanbul arrived in Islamabad on August 13, 2010, according to Pakistan Railways.


To date, eight trains have been dispatched from Pakistan to Turkey, the last of which left Lahore on 5 November 2011.

Since the opening of the service in 2009, Turkey has sent six trains to Pakistan, the last of which was unloaded here on December 9, 2011.


Cargo trains, with a capacity of up to 80,000 tons of cargo, is Europe’s largest city train with dozens of containers and will complete the trip in about two weeks, making it a faster and more economically efficient option than a single line by sea, as reported by the Express Tribune. It will cover 1,990 km in Pakistan, before crossing the Taftan border for 2,603 ​​km in Iran.


The train will then travel about 1,850 kilometers through Turkey, before arriving at its final stop in Istanbul, according to reports.

The service will play an important role in improving the economies and lives of citizens of CEE member countries by maximizing economic efficiency and reducing business costs,Get India Newsreports.

At Tuesday’s ceremony in Islamabad, Qureshi hailed the “historic” development as a step that opens new avenues for commerce and business in the region and beyond.


The Minister of Railways echoed Qureshi’s sentiments, adding, “Passenger train service will also begin soon. We have opened trade routes and this is a great opportunity for importers and exporters.


Dawood said regional connectivity is one of the very important pillars of Pakistan’s strategic trade policy framework and the resumption of ITI freight trains is encouraging.

Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Yurdakul expressed hope that the rail service will not stop in Istanbul but will go all the way to Europe, benefiting all countries in the region to help with the recovery of the routes. This in the post-COVID19 era.

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