Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati on Tuesday inaugurated the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul freight train to increase trade among the three countries.

The cargo train service between the three countries was resumed after a gap of 10-years.

While inaugurating the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul freight train along with Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak, Dawood, the railways minister said termed the launch of train service as game-changer in the region.

“Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul freight train would prove to be a game-changer in the region and would boost trade among the three countries,” he said.

He said the freight would also make the Pakistan Railways a profitable entity.

The minister also revealed that Pakistan Railways was also planning to run a passenger train among these countries in the near future. “We have opened our trade routes and it is a great opportunity for importers and exporters.”

Currently, two freight forwarders, Maxtel Logistics and Haroon Brothers would operate, he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the trial run of the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) train was launched in August 2009 as a project under the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), a 10-nation Asian trade bloc.

After the inauguration of the project, about eight trains were made operational, though the service was closed in 2012 due to security reasons.