768 - Train in Iran - Vitali

Will Iran train pass through Turkey?


Austrian train operator Rail Cargo Group has announced a regular container train between Germany and Iran.

Being one of the two train operators running container trains between Turkey and Europe, Rail Cargo now announced a weekly train between Iran and Germany beginning with next year. First trial is announced to be done within this year. It’s not yet officially declared which route will be used.

Although the shortest path is crossing Turkey to Iran, it’s not the only alternative. Here are the most possible alternatives:

Via Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan

Rail Cargo is currently running trains beteen Slovakia and Kazakhstan, twice a month. These trains may be extended to Iran via Turkmenistan. The recently opened railway between Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran may be an advantage. The busy traffic between China and Europe seems the main obstacle of this solution.

Via Edirne-Van

Rail Cargo may extend its current Halkali trains to Iran by crossing along Turkey. However, single tracks and long transit times in Turkey and uncertainties of two rail ferries on way are cons of these route.

Via Ro-Ro to Mersin

Rail Cargo has a strong organization at Trieste. The Ro-Ro service to Mersin is reliable. The containers coming to Mersin on Ro-Ro can be carried to Iran on rail. However, there still works very old rail ferries with very low capacity on Van Lake, which is the main disadvantage of this route.

Competition seems to be between Kazakhastan and Mersin routes. We’ll see which wins very soon.

Cover Photo: Vitali ©

Written by Onur Uysal

Railway consultant. Owner of RT Media & Consultancy. Founder and editor of Rail Turkey.

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