China’s Sinomach to build $845m railway from Tehran

China National Machinery Industry Corp, known as Sinomach, has signed a contract to build an $845m (5.35 billion yuan) railway in western Iran, linking the cities of Tehran (pictured), Hamedan and Sanandaj.

Sinomach will handle the engineering, procurement and construction work for the 410km railway, the company said on its website on 19 March, reports Reuters.

It is the latest rail initiative in Iran enabled by China since nuclear sanctions against Iran were lifted in 2015.
In May last year Iran signed a €2.2bn deal with China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) to electrify a 926-km railway from Tehran to the northeastern city of Mashhad.

Iran has begun an ambitious programme of railway construction and upgrading. Altogether about $25bn of work is under way or will begin in the next five years.

China has taken a particular interest, since Iran is a conduit for its planned new Silk Road to Europe.

State-owned China Railway Engineering Corp is building a 415km high-speed north-south rail line between Tehran and Isfahan via Qom, while China Railway Construction Corp in January said one of its units had won a 3.53 billion yuan contract to build a railway between Kermanshah and Khosravi, Reuters reports.

Other countries are involved as well. Last July Italy’s state rail operator signed up to a €1.2bn deal to build a high-speed railroad between the cities of Qom and Arak.

Image: Skyline of northern Tehran (Wikimedia Commons)

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