Georgia completes construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway

Georgia rehabilitated 178km of an old railway line between Marabda and Akhalkalaki and constructed a new line from Akhalkalaki to the Turkish border. Photo from Georgia's Economy Minister., 02 Dec 2015 - 18:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia has completed building its section of the $600 million USD Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project.

The project to connect Baku in Azerbaijan with Kars, Turkey via Georgia’s capital Tbilisi was launched in 2007 and construction began in 2008.

Georgia’s Economy Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili said the Georgia project foresaw the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the 178km railway line between Marabda and Akhalkalaki and construction of a new railway line from Akhalkalaki to the Turkish border.

When complete the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad will link Azerbaijan with Turkey via Georgia. The project was made possible thanks to an inter-governmental agreement between the three countries.

Ten years ago high officials from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey agreed to jointly implement the railway project to facilitate transportation of passengers and goods, principally oil.

Georgian Railways believed increasing trade between Turkey and Central Asia provided a Georgia with a significant opportunity to capture trade flows, particularly raw materials imported into Turkey from Central Asia and finished goods exported by Turkey.

Once fully operating about 17 million metric tonnes of cargo will be able to pass through the corridor per year. Initially however, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tonnes of cargo.