The first test train has been launched on the Akhalkalaki-Kartsakhi section in Georgia’s territory within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project, a message posted on the website of Azerbaijan’s Transport Ministry said on Dec.30.
“The testing went successfully, and the train was brought to the border station. The road on this section is ready and the conditions for the traffic have been created there,” said the message.
It is planned to commission BTK in late 2015.
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.
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 post is under construction in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
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.