IRAN: Wagon Pars has received a contract to design and manufacture 300 passenger vehicles for use on the Tehran - Mashhad route, which is now being electrified.

The order covers seating, sleeping and dining cars suitable for speeds up to 200 km/h. Wagon Pars is also negotiating to produce electric passenger and freight locomotives for the route in co-operation with 'reputed locomotive manufacturers'.

A ceremony on February 1 launched work to modernise and electrify the 926 km inter-city route. Infrastructure upgrades and increasing the top speed of passenger trains from 160 km/h to 200 km/h aim to cut journey times from around 12 h to 6 h, and raise capacity in the expectation that annual ridership on the route could grow from 13 million to 20 million passengers.