Azerbaijan will buy 30 carriages from the Swiss Stadler Rail Group for use on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Javid Gurbanov, Azerbaijani Railways CJSC head, told reporters May 13.
He said that these carriages are equipped with an automatic change of wheels (depending on the width of railway track).
“The wheels of these carriages can be changed when switching to another track,” he said. “Therefore, they are perfect for this direction. The new carriages will be delivered to Azerbaijan by late 2015.”
Gurbanov said that the company will continue working in the field of renovation of the entire rolling stock of the country.
“We have already bought about 250 freight carriages,” he said. “These carriages will be specially marked. This will testify to their belonging to Azerbaijan.”
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree ‘On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities’ dated February 21, 2007. SOFAZ has allocated two loans totaling $775 million for the construction of the Georgian section.
A new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad is being constructed as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway’s Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia that will increase its capacity to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year. A depot is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
It is planned to complete the implementation of the project in 2015.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.