After a gap of almost nine years, the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad (ITI) train is likely to resume operations on March 4.
It is an international freight train that runs between three countries. It is also known as ECO train as it is an important project under the Economic Corporation Organization (ECO).
Since the train will complete the one-side trip in 12 days, it is expected to reach the Islamabad dry port on March 16.
The train named ‘ECO Train’ will be operated regularly on Thursdays falling in the first week of every month. The permissible load will be 750 gross tonnes. The train length would be 420 meters.
As per the present arrangement to resume the train and the jointly agreed schedule, the running time between Drence-Kapikoy (Istanbul) and Zahidan-Tabraiz (Iran) will be 90 hours each. From Zahidan to Islamabad, the train would take 135.5 hours.
The trial run of the service was launched in 2009 as a project under the ECO, but so far only the trial runs have been conducted. European countries to Pakistan via seaway took almost 45 days. The train has a maximum capacity of twenty 40-feet containers.
This will be very efficient as the transportation time of freight would be reduced a lot. Previously, it took 45 days to transport European goods to Pakistan, however using the Turkey-Europe connection and the ITI train, this time would be hugely reduced.
The rail route covers a total distance of 6,500 kilometers. It is spread on a length of 2,600 km in Iran, 1,950 km in Turkey, and 1,990 km in Pakistan.