The revival of Transnational Train Service


Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran have reported reviving its trilateral rail network launched in 2009 under Economic Cooperation Organization, on 4th March 2021. A decade earlier, when this project became inactive, it dispatched 8 trains from Pakistan and 6 trains from Turkey reaching its destined state. The transit container train service will revive its journey from Turkey to Pakistan via Iran covering a distance of 6500 km; where the railway line runs 1950 km in Turkey, 2600 km in Iran, and 1990 km in Pakistan. The train leaving Istanbul is expected to reach Zahidan in 90 hours and to Lahore dry port in 135.5 hours.

This project aims to enhance communication and trade links amongst the countries, bolstering economic incentives while maintaining a short time journey with increased connectivity and decreased cost. But certainly, to make this project success multiple factors need to be addressed; the security challenges for instance are impeding, Pakistan and Iran must work to root out the prospects of militants. Besides, the states should ensure that the locals from both sides remain at the advantage, otherwise, vulnerable ends always fall prey to rival politics and obstruct the way to success. Sanctions over Iran are also a factor that can cause this project to crumble once again, Iran cannot be stopped from engaging with its neighbors, but if the US continues to sanction Iran, capital constraints can make it difficult for Iran to invest in this project. Capital investment is a prime source that can keep this project alive, all three states should pool in the necessary capital to make this trilateral trade initiative a triumph. International and regional support both political and economic can bring real good to this project which is why all the three states should work to commercialize this project to the international world and private investors. 

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