Azerbaijan launched new link to Iran

AZERBAIJAN officially inaugurated a new cross-border link to the Iranian city of Astara on March 5 when the first test train crossed the newly-constructed dual-gauge (1520mm and 1435mm gauge) bridge over the Astarachay river, which divides the two countries.

Construction on the 8.3km link began in April 2016, and the line runs from Astara, Azerbaijan, to the Iranian border city of the same name. From here the plan is to connect the line with the Iranian Islamic Republic Railways (RAI) network at Qazvin following completion of the 167km Astara – Rasht line, construction of which is expected to start later this year, and the 160km Rasht – Qazvin section, which is nearing completion.

LDZ to trial India – Latvia intermodal service

LATVIAN Railways (LDZ) has announced plans for the trial operation of a new largely rail-based container service connecting Riga with Mumbai in India.

The planned trial will involve transporting containers by sea from the port of Mumbai to Banda Abbas in Iran for onward transport to Latvia by rail. A 15-day transit time is being targeted.

LDZ believes the development of the International North – South Transport Corridor will offer South Asian manufacturers an alternative route to Western Europe using rail and then Baltic Sea shipping from Riga to Germany and Scandinavia.