Azerbaijan is intending to put 30 new passenger carriages into operation on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway corridor that connects Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
Azerbaijan plans to launch as many as 30 new passenger trains on the newly opened Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway route, which aims to become a major connector for Eurasia.
The new comfortable passenger carriages with wi-fi system and other novelties will be available in Azerbaijan in the next year.
“Once commissioned, it will take just one day to get to Kars,” said Spokesman for the Azerbaijan Railways Nadir Azmammadov said.
The country, which is in a beneficial geographical position, has made large investments into maritime transport and its railway system that could act as a bridge between the Asia and Europe.
The BTK itself has significant importance in the region as a transport corridor between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.
Ticket prices for this route are still to be determined, as that should be coordinated first with the governments of Turkey and Georgia, Azmammadov noted.
Transit via the BTK railway is expected to begin by the end of 2015, easily bringing cargo from Azerbaijan to the Turkish border.
The Azerbaijani carriage bogies have different standards than those in Europe and the new station is built in Akhalkalaki to transit the trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
The BTK is an ambitious regional project with a capacity of transporting 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. It will, however, start with one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo at its initial stage.
The Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway section is being renovated in Georgia to increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year.
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) has financed the 105-kilometer branch of the railroad, which is being developed under the BTK project.
The financing of the BTK project commenced in accordance with the Azerbaijani presidential decree ‘On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities’ dated February 21, 2007.
The BTK project plays significant role as a part of a process of transforming of the Ancient Silk Road into the new Silk Railways.
Moreover, Azerbaijan’s participation in the project’s implementation contributes to regional stability, peace, and economic benefits.