Workers assemble subway trains at CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co in Changchun, Jilin province.
Railway vehicle maker eyes big prospects in nation
CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co will supply 100 subway cars for Metro Line 2 in Mashhad, the second-biggest city in Iran in May, the company told China Daily on Thursday.
As a subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp Ltd, the country's railway vehicle and equipment maker and exporter, CRRC Changchun completed trial operations of the Mashhad metro line this month. The 100 subway cars will be formatted in five sets, said the media office of CRRC Changchun.
CRRC Changchun said that Metro Line 2 in Mashhad is just one aspect of the company's business in the country. It already started to ship subway cars to Iran in 2016 after it signed a .39 billion contract to supply 1,008 subway cars to Teheran, the Iranian capital, over a five-year period.
Iran plans to open 30 urban rail lines in nine cities over the next five years, with a total length of 350 kilometers. The demand for rail vehicles is expected to reach 2,000 subway cars.
The 14-km Metro Line 2 in Mashhad is scheduled to be operational in May, shuttling between the north and south of the city. There will be transfer stops between metro lines 1 and 2, expanding the city's transportation network.
Apart from the first three sets of subway cars shipped from China, the remainder will be manufactured in a joint venture formed by CRRC Changchun and a rail vehicle manufacturing company in Teheran, which was established in 2016.
The joint venture has an annual production capacity of 300 subway cars and 200 double-decker cars. It will also provide maintenance services and staff training.
According to the company, these new trains can be run at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour, with a capacity of 1,300 passengers per set.
At present, there is only one rail transit line－the 19-km Metro Line 1－being operated in Mashhad.
CRRC Changchun's revenue amounted to 358 million yuan ( million) in Iran last year. Trainmakers from Japan, South Korea and Europe are the company's archrivals in the country.
Feng Hao, a rail transportation researcher at the National Development and Reform Commission, said: "Chinese trainmakers could find great opportunities in the surging demand in many developing countries and regions along the Belt and Road Initiative for improved railway infrastructure, passenger services and regional connectivity, as well as their desire to create jobs and new commercial areas".