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Iran is working on the possibility of locomotives deliveries from Russia

19 May 2022
Reading time ~ 2 min
A freight train in Iran. Source: Jean-Marc Frybourg,
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 2 min
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Iran: The head of Iranian Railways (RAI), Miad Salehi, said the company is negotiating the terms of the purchase, Tehran Times writes. Together with Rostam Qasemi, the Iranian Transport and Urban Development Minister, he visited Moscow at the end of April and met with the head of Russian Railways (RZD), Oleg Belozerov, and Vitaly Savelyev, the Minister of Transport of Russia. As part of the negotiations, an agreement on expanding cooperation between the countries in the transport sector was signed.

The Iranian media indicate a huge range of the potential supply volumes – 200, 1,300 and 2,000 vehicles. Tejaratnews writes that the most current confirmed figure is the purchase of 1,300 locomotives. In December 2021, the Iranian Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs, Ehsan Khandozi, also mentioned 200 locomotives in an interview with the IRIB news agency: he reported that negotiations were underway on the granting by the Russian side a $5 bln loan, supposing financing the implementation of the North-South transport corridor project and the purchase of locomotives.

Russian locomotives deliveries to Iran have been discussed earlier. Thus, in 2016-2017, the potential deliveries of 40 electric mainline vehicles were discussed under a loan granted to Iran for the implementation of a joint project with the RZD International company for the Garmsar-Inche Burun line electrification and modernization. However, it was not realized, and in April 2020, RZD officially announced its work stoppage and Tehran subsidiary closure.

It is worth noting that in 2016, at meetings with the Russian side, Vice President of RAI Babak Ahmadi said that in the coming years Iran would require 1,000 locomotives, 27,000 freight and 3,000 passenger cars. Also, for a long time, the list of import requests provided by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade included a lot from Iran for the supply of 2,000 metro cars with partial localization in the country.

In recent years, Siemens and CRRC have received significant locomotive contracts in Iran. Thus, since 2010, Siemens has produced 150 IranRunner locomotives for passenger transportation, and in 2016 CRRC received a contract for the deliveries of 15 passenger and 15 freight locomotives.