Pakistan and Iran have decided to resume a fortnightly passenger train service between the countries beginning September, a news report has revealed. According to the report, the decision has been taken in the wake of improvement in the security situation.
The decision was taken at a meeting of railway officials from the two countries on Thursday in which Zahedan Railways director general Majid Arjouni led the Iranian delegation and Railways Board secretary Zubair Shafi Ghauri chaired the meeting.
The passenger train service will run between Quetta and Mashhad or Qom, and will largely cater to the needs of pilgrims during Muharram, the Dawn report said. Earlier, an international mixed passenger and freight service used to be operated twice a month by the Pakistan Railways (PR) between Quetta and Zahedan.
The train used to take 33 hours to cover a distance of 732km along the entire stretch of the Quetta-Taftan railway line. Sources quoted in the report said that revision of the 1959 agreement between Pakistan Railways and Iranian Railways was under consideration.
The railways ministry has decided to start running 15 freight trains between Quetta and Zahedan as per the demands of the business community, said the report. Representatives were informed that a proposal for upgrading the existing feasibility study of the route was in progress and would be finished this year.
The two sides also discussed ECO container train on the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) route. The Iranian delegation expressed desire to import mechanical and civil material from the Pakistan Railways, the report said.