Islamabad: A cargo train that will cover a distance of 6,500 km from Islamabad through Tehran to Istanbul will be "running in less than a year", an official said.
The ambitious project got a final shape during the April 11-14 official visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Turkish capital Ankara.
Turkish Union of Chambers (TOBB) has said it will immediately start a company to run the project and the company will seek collaboration with Pakistan and Iran business groups to execute it, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
"We are planning to get the train running in less than a year," TOBB president Rifat Hisarciklioglu was quoted as saying.
The weekly trains are expected to make a one-way trip in 11 days between Istanbul and Islamabad.
The report said the train will open up the European and Asian markets for Pakistan.
President Asif Ali Zardari, during his visit, held discussions with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Grand National Assembly Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin.
Pakistan and Turkey are keen to expand their bilateral trade volume from existing USD 1 billion to USD 2 billion by year 2012.