TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iranian Transport and Urban Development Ministry plans to renovate 1,500 wagons and locomotives to be added to the country’s railway fleet by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2022), Transport Minister Mohammad Eslami announced.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event on the occasion of the National Productivity Day on Saturday, Eslami said: “The renovation of the mentioned fleet will be accelerated if the necessary funds for the program are provided on schedule.”
The official noted that over 1,800 freight and passenger wagons and locomotives were produced or renovated in the country over the past two years, adding: “Although the figure was less than the previous periods, all the new locomotives and wagons produced in the past two years have been domestically-made, whereas, in the past, renovations were done with imported products.”
The National Productivity Day ceremony, held in Tehran, was attended by senior officials including the head of the National Productivity Organization of Iran and the Head of the Islamic of Iran Railways (known as RAI).
The development of the railway sector is one of the macro policies of the Iranian government as it has been emphasized by the general policies of the country’s national development plans.
Advantages such as consuming less fuel and creating less pollution as well as high safety attaches priority to the railway when compared to some other transportation systems, and makes its development economically viable.
When it comes to railway development, the renovation of existing infrastructures comes also under the spotlight, as according to RAI, currently the average age of the country’s passenger and freight wagons stands at 24 years and there are also rail tracks that have been built over 50 years ago.
In this regard, RAI has been implementing new programs for replacing old wagons and locomotives with new ones to reduce the age of the country’s fleet.
Based on the mentioned programs, some 451 wagons and locomotives valued at 9.33 trillion rials (about $222.1 million) were added to the country’s railway fleet in seven stages during the previous Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20).
Back in December 2020, RAI Head Saeed Rasouli announced that the Iranian railway industry has become completely self-reliant in manufacturing freight wagons.