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Freight rail service under ECO has begun operating between the Pakistani capital of Islamabad and the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, operating on a route more than 4,000 miles long. 

A simple but dignified inaugural departure ceremony was held at the Margalla railway station in Islamabad, attended by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi; Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati; Abdul Razzak Dawood, adviser to the prime minister for commerce and investment; the ambassadors of Iran, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan; and a representative of the ECO. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The first train under this project left Islamabad on 21 December and arrived in Iran on Sunday – 26 December, on its way to final destination of Turkey’s Anatolia.

The econonic trains will take 12 days to 14 days to reach its destination – about half the time it takes by sea, and will be more cost-effective than by road. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) train will proceed 1,235 miles inside Pakistan before crossing through the Taftan border crossing in the province of Balochistan to cover a 1,620-mile section in Iran.

The train will cover 1,150 miles in Turkey, passing through the capital, Ankara before reaching its final destination. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The ITI train service was launched in 2009 within the framework of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Test runs were carried out but there was no consistent service. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});