Iran’s MAPNA Group and German Company Siemens AG signed a new contract on Monday October 3, 2016, in a bid to modernize Iran’s railway infrastructure.

A second contract was also signed between MAPNA Group and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Railways Company (RAI) in the same event.

Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel (who was leading a trade delegation to Iran), Minister of Roads & Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, MAPNA President Abbas Aliabadi, Managing Director of Iran Railways Mohsen Pour Seyyed Aghaei, Iran’s Ambassador to Berlin Ali Majedi and a number of senior Siemens officials oversaw the signing of the contracts.

Head of MAPNA Rail Division Seyyed Ali Bani-Hashemi and Babak Ahmadi signed the first contract on behalf of MAPNA Group and Iran Railways respectively. MAPNA will commission 50 units of Iran Safir locomotives to Iran’s national railway company in a span of 35 months according to terms of the contract.

Seyyed Ali Bani-Hashemi also signed the contract with Siemens on behalf of MAPNA. Matthias Koch, Vice President of Siemens Mobility, Technology and Innovation sector was the German company’s designated signatory.

According to the contract between MAPNA and Siemens AG, the latter will provide its Iranian partner with components to assemble another fifty units of diesel-electric passenger locomotive which are to be handed to RAI. The project will be financed by German banks.

“As Iran seeks to modernize its railway infrastructure, Siemens is proud to support these ambitions with modern rail systems,” said Siegfried Russwurm, member of the managing board of Siemens AG in his statement. “We are pleased to work with our partners at RAI and MAPNA Group and look forward to contributing to the country’s sustainable economic development, of which rail is a key component.”

A Major Development in Iran’s Rail Industry

The new contract between MAPNA and Islamic Republic of Iran’s Railways Company (RAI) came in form of an addendum to an earlier contract that covered manufacturing 150 Iran Safir units of locomotives.

With its electro-pneumatic brake system, maximum speed of 160 kmph, and SIBAS-32 advanced control system, Iran Safir is one of the most advanced diesel-electric locomotives running on tracks across the world. The locomotive’s technology was transferred to MAPNA by Siemens in 2008.

So far, 148 units of Iran Safir have been manufactured and commissioned to Iran Railways by MAPNA, having a significant share in modernization of Iran’s rail industry. Iran Safir locomotives are currently carrying the main bulk of transportation load in the popular Tehran-Mashhad line. Addition of another fifty other units to Iran’s rail system is expected to improve its quality.

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