During the meeting between Bazrpash and the Iraqi visiting delegation, a decision was made regarding the Shalamcheh-Basra railway, with a length of 32 kilometers and the construction of a movable bridge.
According to the discussion at this bilateral meeting, it was decided that Iraq would hand over the land to the Iranian side as soon as possible.
Also, the construction of infrastructure, pavement and buildings required for the route will be carried out by the Iraqi Republic Railways Company.
The managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railway Company (Raja) said if Iraq fulfills its commitments in the Shalamcheh-Basra project, the railway line will be put into operation in the next one and a half to two years.
Talking about the presence of the Iraqi delegation in Iran and the Shalamcheh-Basra railway project, Seyyed Miad Salehi said the Iranian and Iraqi technical, political and military delegation, as well as the railway officials of the two countries perused the project according to the approved maps.
They also visited Shalamcheh, the new passenger station built at the border of Shalamcheh, the lands on both sides of Arvand River and Sinbad Island at the bridge construction site, as well as the construction site of the new Basra railway station.
He added that the visit lasted for four hours and, after that, a six-hour meeting was held with the Iraqi delegation, during which detailed maps were presented by the Iraqi side.
He said considering that the movable bridge of the project requires an opening to provide the possibility of ship traffic, its construction requires special technology and will be built by Iranian engineers.
According to Salehi, the delivery of the bridge foundations will be done in the southwestern part of Arvand River within two months.
Completion in two years
Speaking about the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), Jalal Mokhtari, the director of public relations of Raja, said the plan for the construction of the railway project has been handed over to Iraqis and, according to arrangements, the parties will implement the agreement.
He further added that Iraqi officials will come to Iran to visit the appropriate locations. Considering that the project will be completed within two years, it has already started in Iran.
The contractor will decide to use Iraqi- or Iranian-made materials and equipment for the rail project in the future, he added.
Shalamcheh-Basra railway project
The Shalamcheh-Basra project, which will connect Iran to Karbala by railway, is one of the projects that, despite its importance from the point of view of pilgrimage and commerce, has not been implemented in these years, but Iraq has promised to allocate 215 billion Iraqi dinars for the project, and has emphasized that it would complete the project in 2023.
The launch of the railway line has been proposed during the past 20 years, as in these years it has had its ups and downs and, now, considering the approach of the current Iranian government on economic diplomacy and cooperation with neighboring countries, the question remains, will this rail route break the spell or not?