Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has proposed to the European Economic Union (EEU) the construction of a high-speed freight rail link between Kazakhstan and Iran, RIA Novosti reported on May 25.
Tokayev outlined how the railway would run from Chelyabinsk in southern Russia, near the Kazakh border, through to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and then Iran. The EEU’s members are Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Belarus.
Tokayev also called for the reconstruction of bottleneck sections of the Beineu-Mangistau railway network and of a segment of the Beineu-Shalkar highway, both in in western Kazakhstan.
Further, he suggested joint investment ventures in the construction of infrastructure in Iran and at Turkmenistan's sea and dry ports.
Journey times from Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest metropolis, to the Iranian border currently stretch to a lengthy three to five days, with the distance approximately 3,500 kilometres.
High-speed freight trains typically travel at speeds between 200 km/h and 350 km/h, compared to the maximum speed 120 km/h of ordinary freight trains.
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