Tehran - Mashhad finished
IRANIAN Railways announced on March 5 that it had commissioned the second track on its 926 km main line between Tehran and Mashhad. The route has become a key corridor between the Persian Gulf and the Central Asian states following the opening of the Mashhad - Sarakhs link.
The line has been remodelled for 160 km/h, with provision for 200 km/h. This will cut the fastest journey time from 14 to 10h. The new track is laid with UIC60 rails on B-70 monobloc concrete sleepers, with the two tracks at 4700mm centres. Total cost is put at US$6bn, excluding the installation of new signalling and telecommunications.
RAI expects the doubling to raise the average daily traffic on the route from 17 to 40 trains each way per day. This will permit an increase in business from 2·7 to 10 million passengers and from 1·5 to 7 million tonnes of freight per year. RAI is now able to run suburban services from Tehran to Gharechak, Varamin, Baqerabad, Pishva, and Imamzade Jafar.