YEREVAN (News.az)—Armenia is set to begin work, early-next year, on a large-scale project aimed at connecting Armenia and Iran through a north-south railway, according to Armenia’s Transport and Communications Minister Gurgen Sargsyan.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Sargsyan said, the first phase of the project will be a feasibility study, scheduled to begin in April 2010.
“An agreement to grant a loan of $ 1 million has been reached with the Asian Development Bank for implementation of the feasibility study of this project, an international tender for the provision of consulting services will be declared in early 2010 and we will begin the direct implementation of the feasibility study in the spring”, he said.
The minister said the project’s first phase will be carried out in two stages. The first will study whether the Yerevan-Ararat and Yerevan-Ashtarak passes are safe for railway travel; the second will begin work on restoring the aged Ashtarak-Gumri rail section; the third stage envisages construction of a new Goris-Kapan railroad.
According to Sargsyan, the government has registered a corporation, titled “Directions for Iran-Armenian railway construction,” to implement the project.
He added that Iran has demonstrated readiness to finance the project.