Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Mohammad Eslami, and Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev, discussed the plans for the construction of the Rasht-Astara railway line. Soon an Iranian-Azeri company will be established in order to accelerate implementation of the project.
During the meeting, Iran has appointed the company for the construction of the line, while Azerbaijan also needs to decide its responsible company on the project.
The two sides discussed on different financing mechanisms and possibilities as well the needed equipment for construction of the line.
In January 2018, the two countries announced that will jointly fund the construction of Rasht-Astara section in northern Iran. It was agreed that each country will cover 50% of the necessary investment. Azerbaijan would provide USD 500 million for the project.
The 164-km line is part of the North-South Transport Corridor connecting Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. The line will link between railway networks of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. 5 million tonnes of cargoes are estimated to be initially transported on the line, and it is expected that the freight volume will increase to 10 million tonnes.