Iran has started the construction of a 1,350km railway that will link the southeast and northeast parts of the country, Moj news agency has reported. The first phase of the project, which runs 570km, will connect the city of Chabahar to Zahedan, centre of Sistan and Baluchestan province. The $4bn (€3bn) Chabahar-Zahedan-Mashhad railway includes an 11km bridge and a 12km tunnel. The project aims to allow for 3,000 – 3,500 tonnes of goods to be transferred in each trip, which Iran hopes would attract high tonnage vessels to Chabahar port.