As part of an international railway route between China and Iran, a new railway line is to be built across Kyrgyzstan. This will eventually form part of a route linking China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Negotiations between the countries about standardisation of equipment and operational protocols have been taking place for the last four years, and have proven quite difficult.
The plan is ultimately to enable passengers and freight to pass from China to the Gulf, and either on by railway to the European railway networks or by sea through the Suez Canal.
New railways are being built linking northern and southern China to the European railway networks via the Russian and Asian networks.
Iran intends to exploit these plans by becoming a regional transport hub between Europe and the Far East.