Pilot train on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad will launch in late 2014

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is expected to be operational before the end of 2015.
Agenda.ge, 26 Nov 2014 - 16:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

A pilot train is set to test the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad that links Azerbaijan with Turkey via Georgia before the end of the year, announced Georgia’s Prime Minister at a special business forum today.

Then all going well, the railway is expected to be operational before the end of 2015.

The Georgian leader announced this news at the Georgia-Latvia Business Forum in Tbilisi today, which was also attended by Latvian President Andris Berzins. In his speech, Irakli Garibashvili emphasized the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad for the development of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA).

"This railroad will connect Georgia directly to Turkey, while the Marmaray Tunnel will establish a direct path between Europe and Asia, and Georgia and other countries of the region via Turkey,” Garibashvili said.

"Accordingly, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad will allow for transporting goods twice as fast.”

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being built following an inter-governmental agreement between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The railway will increase the flow of containers and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe. Experts estimated its throughput capacity will peak at 17 million tonnes of cargo per year.

Initially, the capacity will reach 6.5 million tonnes of cargo and one million passengers.

During his speech at the forum Garibashvili also spoke about the modernisation of Georgia’s internal transport infrastructure.

"Located at the crossroads between Central Asia and the Middle East, Georgia is a link between Western Europe, Central Asia, China, and India. Thanks to its favorable location, our country is a natural transport and business hub in the region,” he said.