Friday, May 29, 2009
Yesterday there was a piece of news in German here that went something like this:
The German Transrapid will drive in Iran in the future. According to information from the ARD radio station in Istanbul the Munich Engineering Office, the Iranian Ministry for Traffic and Transportation and the Governor of Mashad have gone into an agreement for a high-speed line in Iran. The distance between the two is 860 kilometres and at the moment takes two days by bus and nine hours by conventional train, but with the Transrapid line it would take between 2.5 and 3 hours. Mashad is the home of a major Shiite shrine, one with 15 million pilgrims per year.Great! Except that Thyssenkrupp and Siemens say they're unaware of any contract with Iran for the Transrapid. No idea what's really going on here but keep an eye on the search term Transrapid to see if things are a bit clearer in the next day or two.
The contract says that the German side will invest 6.7 euros, which will be paid back by Iran over 20 to 30 years. The new Transrapid line will be the longest stretch of this high-speed railway, and will take five to six years to execute the project.
In more certain Mashhad news though, the city will have a subway system soon, as it's due to start in 2009 or 2010.