Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line to be ready ‘by summer’
KARS - Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is expected to be ready by early summer, Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said March 6.
“We want to start diesel locomotive by completing its construction within two months followed by testing for two months,” Arslan added.
The railway project is a regional rail project linking Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is expected to increase the flow of containers and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe.
He said poor weather conditions had hindered the railway construction.
“The project is not only important for our country but also for all countries that want to trade through Turkey,” he said.
Arslan said the railway line would cut down on wastage of time and money.
“A cargo from China will be able to reach Europe in 15 days when the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is completed. The distance will be reduced by around threefold. There will be both time and cost savings. Hence, an uneconomical transportation means will become economic when delivery time reduces from 45 [days] to 15,” he said.
Recalling the visit to Pakistan with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for an Economic Cooperation Organization meeting in February, Arslan said the bloc’s member countries were eagerly awaiting the completion of the railway line.
The 826-kilometer (513-mile) railway will be able to transport a million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight in the first stage. The capacity will later get enhanced to three million passengers and over 15 million tons of freight.