1040 GMT February 19, 2019
Transportation of 30 billion tons of goods via railroad helps save close to $750 million by cutting fuel consumption, Saeed Mohammadzadeh said in an address to a conference on investment and financing opportunities in rail transportation sector on Sunday, IRNA reported.
He said given that the cost of transporting one ton-kilometer of freight via railroad stand at 70 cents, rail transit per ton of goods helps save 35 cubic centimeters in fuel consumption.
Development of rail transportation sector is a priority for Iran's Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, he said, calling for further efforts to increase the share of rail transportation in the country's total goods transit sector from the present 12 percent to more than 30 percent.
The IRIR CEO put the current number of trips taken in the suburbs of Tehran at 100 billion, of which 40 percent take place via rail corridors.
"This comes as suburban commutes around Tehran only account for five percent of the total trips made in the Iranian capital."
Mohammadzadeh said 30 percent of the cars plying Tehran streets, enter the city from suburban areas.
"In case we manage to transfer a part of the load of these trips to the rail sector, we will make a great contribution to improving the health of our countrymen and reducing air pollution."
He said at present, the average price of transporting each ton-kilometer of goods via roads is almost half of the cost involved in road transit of the same amount of freight.
The IRIR chief noted that a number of development projects with an investment of $35 billion is expected to be implemented in Iran's steel industry within the next six years, adding if the projects help increase domestic steel output to 210 million tons, one third of the load of the products will be transported via the railroad network and two third through roads.
"This can lead to a tsunami of road casualties and significant rise in fuel consumption."
He put the average load of goods transported via Iran's railroad network during 2009-2013 at 33 million tons, adding the figure reached 47 million tons in the year to March 2018, helping the country save fuel to the tune of $500 million.
"This comes as in the same duration, 427 million tons of goods were transported via Iranian roads."
He called for making Iran's railroad sector more attractive to investors.
Mohammadzadeh said $697.67 million have been allocated to domestic railroad projects in the year to March 2019.