Pakistan to Turkey container train service launched

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has launched Pakistan’s first international container train service from Islamabad to Istanbul via the Iranian capital, Tehran, as a trial project of the Economic Cooperation Organization to boost Pakistan’s trade with Turkey and Iran.

The train is carrying 20 containers on its first journey from Islamabad railway station, delivering 14 to Tehran and 6 to Istanbul and will cover 6,500 kilometres in two weeks.

Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said a successful trial phase of the freight train service would be followed by a passenger train service in an effort to boost tourism in the region.

There are also hopes the route will eventually provide a link to Europe and Central Asia.