SNCF and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) signed a cooperation protocol on 28 January 2016 in Paris covering four areas, including station operations and high speed rail development.
The two companies will collaborate in the development of urban and peri-urban transport, long distance high speed lines, twinning programmes between French and Iranian railway stations, as well as station operations.
The agreement also specifies that SNCF will support RAI in its restructuring project. The agreement was signed by SNCF’s President Guillaume Pepy and his Iranian counterpart in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, during a meeting held at the headquarters of MEDEF (the French Business Confederation).
According to SNCF “A joint committee between the two parties will determine the priority projects to be implemented, draw up contracts, and follow them up.”
“Iran’s long-term investment in its transport system is reported to be 50 billion euros, 20 billion of which will be spent between now and 2025 in the areas of freight, urban transport and high speed lines”, said Diego Diaz, Director of International Projects at SNCF. “This represents an opening for French engineering in a very competitive market”, he added.
“For the time being the twinning programme will cover the two iconic railway stations of Tehran and Saint-Lazare”, said Mr Diaz. In July, AREP (a subsidiary of SNCF’s Gares & Connexions division specialising in architecture, engineering, designn and town planning), signed a contract with Iranian Railways to refurbish three Iranian stations in Tehran, Mashad and Qom.