0809 GMT January 29, 2020
Representatives from China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran signed a deal in the Kazakh city of Astana to increase traffic through a railway project that connects the four countries.
Representatives of the four countries railways held a quadrilateral meeting in Astana that, in particular, discussed the issues of establishing competitive tariffs for cargo transportation along the CKTI route.
"Noting the potential of the CKTI international transit corridor, the participants of the meeting spoke in favor of organizing a regular container service on this route," a statement by Kazakhstan’s railways KTZ read.
Following the meeting, the parties identified responsible operators for the organization of container trains on CKTI and signed a protocol on its results.
The statement also quoted KTZ's Vice-president for Logistics Sanzhar Yelyubayev as underscoring the need to create conditions for the development of container service, formation of stable container traffic, development of the client and freight base, and application of approved tariff rates for container service along the CKTI.
The CKTI was officially launched in February when a container train proceeded from Turkmenistan to Iran.
The test journey was conducted for adjusting the regular transportation on the new railway route, the Kazakh media reported.
The train that was loaded with various goods had left from the Chinese city of Yeiu at the end of January, passed the distance of 7,908 kilometers, crossed the territory of Kazakhstan and reached the Turkmen border railway station of Serkhetyak, Press TV wrote.
The Turkmen site of the new transnational railway route lies from Serkhetyak station to Serakhs on the Turkmen-Iranian border. This part is equal to 1,156 kilometers.
The total length of China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran route is about 10,000 kilometers, and the journey that ends in the Iranian capital Tehran will take about two weeks.