Rail Freight

1 mn tons on Iran traffic


1 million tons of freight is expected to be transported on Iran-Turkey railway this year.

As the capacity of the Iran rail connection is increased by new rail ferries on Van Lake and some of the trade shifted to rail from trucks due to pandemic, target is to transport 1 million tons of freight on Turkey-Iran railway this year.

When Turkey-Iran border were closed due to Covid-19 and then opened with restrictions, demand for freight trains between two countries boosted. Last year, 564k tons of freight was transported on this line. Though this means 60% increase compared to 2019 with 352k tons, the volume is still less then its peak in 2006 with 800k tons..

In 2021, the target is a record high: 1 million tons. Target is high and will not be easy while hard competition of Iran trucks continue. On the other hand, restrictions due to Covid-19 seems to continue whole year in 2021 and with new ferries, railway does not only have higher capacity, but higher reliability and faster transit time.

The expectations are not limited with trade between two countries, but also further destinations via Iran. Afghanistan is one of them. In late 2020, first phase of Khaf-Herat railway was opened which connects Iran and Turkey to Afghanistan.

Turkey Iran Afghanistan Pakistan rail connections

Another traffic via Iran may be Turkey-Pakistan train. This was first started in 2010 carrying aid from Turkey to Pakistan, but did not last long. Last year, trilateral meetings had started between Turkey, Iran and Pakistan with the target of starting trains in 2021.

Cover photo : Vitali ©

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