China agrees to fund $3bn Tehran-Mashhad rail project

The State-run China National Transportation Equipment & Engineering Co Ltd (CTC) is close to finalising an agreement on construction of the $3bn rail project that will connect Tehran with the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, a Chinese source told Reuters late last week. The project, which will see the electrification of the the 926km railway from Iran’s capital to its primary pilgrimage site that attracts tens of millions of visitors each year, will be developed by a consortium headed up by the MAPNA construction group. China’s Export and Import (EXIM) Bank is expected to  put up 85% of the costs of construction