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International North-South Transport Corridor on the Verge of Becoming Fully Rail-linked

Feb. 8, 2017 (EIRNS)—The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that links the Persian Gulf to Europe through Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia, is getting closer to having full rail connections. Iran’s Vice Minister of Roads and Urban Development, Saeed Mohammadzadeh, during talks on Feb. 7 with Javid Gurbanov, chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, said the rail link between the town of Astara on the Azerbaijani border with Iran, and an identically named town, Astara, on the Iranian side, will get rail-linked next month, The BRICS Post reported today. The completion of this link-up will leave only the Rasht-Astara section on the Iranian side to be completed. Reports indicate that work is in full progress and that this section will be completed this year.

INSTC starts off at Bandar Abbas port of Iran on the Persian Gulf, and proceeds northwards along the western shore of the Caspian Sea to Russia and beyond. INSTC also has a sea-route from Iran through the Caspian to Russia by ship and barge. Once the INSTC becomes fully rail-linked, it will shift a whole lot of cargo from Iran and the Central Asian countries, from sea to land transport.