0715 GMT May 19, 2019
Two Chinese companies signed contracts with Iran on Wednesday to develop the Middle Eastern state's railroad sector.
Based on the deal, which was signed between China's CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Rail Transport and Iran's Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) Group, the Chinese company will supply 450 metro cars for the Iranian cities of Ahvaz, Tabriz and Shiraz, Press TV reported.
The company, a subsidiary of China's railroad giant CRRC Corp., undertook to fund up to 85 percent of the project as well as parts for assembly at Iranian train manufacturing company Wagon Pars, said IDRO Managing Director Mansour Moazzami.
"To make maximum use of domestic capabilities in the field of rolling stock manufacturing, the contracting party was required to cooperate with Wagon Pars company of Arak," he said.
"Hence, the production and supply of wagons needed conforming with world-class technology will be carried out for the first time at Wagon Pars in partnership with a foreign company with an investment of €25 million," Moazzami added.
The other contract signed between another Chinese company and Iran's Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructure Company, affiliated to the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, is for building a railroad between the cities of Shiraz and Bushehr in south Iran with an investment of $700 million.
Iran's Minister or Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi was present in the signing ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Iranian company's managing director, Kheirollah Khademi, said development of the railroad network is among the government's priorities.
He added the feasibility studies and construction of 3,410 kilometers of railway line have been taken up by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, of which some sections have been completed.
"Our main objective is to connect five Iranian provincial capitals to the country's railroad network in the next few months."
He said the Shiraz-Bushehr railroad is expected to transport one million people and 12 million tons of cargo per annum, adding the railroad will be constructed in two phases.
Khademi said, 250 kilometers of the railroad will be built in the first phase and 200 kilometers in the second phase.
Exim Bank of China has signed a $1.5-billion deal to finance the electrification of a high-speed rail line being built by Chinese companies between the Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad.
The Swiss Embassy in Tehran said Stadler would put the wagons in service from the end of 2020 in the Iranian capital and Karaj in the northern Iranian province of Alborz.
However, news and information platform Swissinfo said on Friday the company had denied the report, saying that there was no deal or decision but merely a public tender.
Iran has announced plans to invest $25 billion over the next 10 years in the modernizing and expanding its railroad network. Under the plan, Iran seeks to stretch out the nationwide railroad line to 25,000 kilometers by 2025 from the current length of below 15,000 kilometers.
IDRO chief Moazzami said negotiations have been held on supplying 5,000 metro cars worth more than €6 billion, most of which have been finalized and will gradually be announced.
In July 2017, Iran's state rail company and its Italian counterpart signed a final agreement worth €1.2 billion ($1.37 billion) to build a high-speed railroad between the cities of Qom and Arak.
Later that month, French transport company Alstom signed a joint agreement for the construction of subway carriages in Iran.