North-South project submitted to CIS Railway Transport Council’s meeting
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.17
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
The project for creation of the International North-South Transport Corridor will be mulled in Baku Oct. 21-22 at a meeting of the Railway Transport Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Azerbaijan Railways Head Arif Asgarov said.
He noted that the project is being regularly reviewed and discussed in a tripartite order, that is, among Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran.
Asgarov added that corresponding protocols have been signed as well.
"The project will be again revised at the council's meeting in Baku," he said.
The project is aimed at integrating the main transport routes of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. The Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway, which is an integral part of the North-South Transport Corridor, will be commissioned in early 2015.
The investments in the transport corridor's construction will stand at $400 million.
Initially, the cargo transportation through this corridor will amount to 6 million metric tons, and in the future it will reach 15-20 million metric tons.
Asgarov said the works within the project of creation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway are also underway.
In particular, the works on creation of railway facilities in Georgia are almost complete.
The construction works at the Akhalkalaki station in Georgia are coming to an end, and it is planned to launch a work train from Baku till the border of Georgia and Turkey before late 2014.
The railway, which is designed to connect the railroad systems of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, will be fully commissioned in 2015.
The total length of a railway tunnel on the border of Georgia and Turkey is 4,450 meters, some 2,560 meters of which being on the territory of Turkey.
The construction of the tunnel's section in Turkey has already been competed, and the Georgian section is still under construction.
The tunnel's section in Georgia is 2,070 meters long.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway is being built in line with an interstate agreement of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) is financing the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's decree 'On implementation of activities on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project', dated Feb. 21, 2007.
A new 105-kilometer branch of the railway is under construction as part of the project.
Aside from that, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda section in Georgia is being reconstructed. This will boost the railway's capacity up to 15 million metric tons of cargo per year.
Aside from that, a station is being built in Akhalkalaki town of Georgia for transition of trains from the railway tracks used in Georgia to the ones used in Europe.