The construction of Baku –Tbilisi – Kars railway project, which promises to bring the entire region closer to Europe, is drawing to a close. Kars Governor Rahmi Dogan said that test rolling of the railway will be implemented in late 2016.
A 79 kilometer-BTK railway section stretches through Turkey, while 58 kilometers accounts for the Kars province. Turkey is also planning to construct a logistics center in the Kars province within the framework of the project. Railway project is expected to benefit all participating countries and further strengthen the neighborly and fraternal relations among Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as open up great opportunities to establish strong transport links among other countries that are interested in using the services of the transport corridor.
Turkey will be able to extend its political and economic influence from the Black Sea region to the shores of Caspian Sea and even further to the Central Asian region. Azerbaijan is also expected to benefit greatly by acquiring a fast transportation link to Turkey. Georgia, in turn, will also gain additional economic benefits. Peak bandwidth capacity of the project will stand at 17 million of freight per year, while the figure will be at the level of 1 million of passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo at the initial stage.
Being constructed under a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement, BTK is expected to expand multi-modal transportation opportunities, ensure the growth of passenger and freight transportation and boost the transit potential of the regional countries. It is planned to be commissioned by late 2016. BTK project is expected to open a new rail corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey, excluding the need for sea transportation.