Railway lines linking Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan were officially opened today, Wednesday December 3, 2014, with the presidents of all three countries in attendance.

The railroad was launched with Iranian president Hassan Rohani traveling the line from Golestan Province in Iran to Akyala Station in Turkmenistan, where the Iranian president was officially welcomed by the Turkmen president. From there, the three presidents proceeded together to the event location.

Transportation ministers of Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Azerbaijan Republic and Oman were also present at the ceremony.

The railroad track covers about 920 kilometres, with 85 kilometres of it in Iran, 700 in Turkmenistan and 140 of it in Kazakhstan.

The Fars News agency reports that the Iran segment of the construction was finished in less than 17 months by Khatam al-Anbia Base at a cost of 130 billion toumans.

President Rohani maintained that the railway will not only connect the three countries but also promote access for the countries of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman and facilitate transportation to China, Russia, Turkey, Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.

He added that the railroad will connect the member states of the Economic Co-operation Organization (ECO) to those countries belonging to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, improving conditions for trade in energy and petroleum products.