Azerbaijan, Iran to be linked by railway before late 2016
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 12
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
An 8.5-km long section of railway between Iran and Azerbaijan will be built before late 2016 as part of the North-South Corridor project, Azerbaijan Railways Head Javid Gurbanov told reporters Jan. 12.
He further said that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a corresponding decree in 2015.
"A tender to select a company that will build this section will be announced soon," said Gurbanov. "A lacking 7.5-km section of the railway on Azerbaijan's territory running till the [country's] border with Iran and a railway bridge on the border, which make a total of 8.5 km, will be built by late 2016. There is a decree of the head of state, and sources for funding have been identified."
"We plan to carry out multimodal transportations involving road and rail transport, which will become possible in the near future," he added.
The North-South Corridor, starting in India and stretching to Finland, is one of the most important routes for Azerbaijan.
The route is quite long - about 5,000 km, and will run through the territory of Azerbaijan.
The annual capacity of the goods transit from Iran to Russia via Azerbaijan stands at about 10 million tons. The figure for goods transits capacity between Europe and India is about 25 million tons.
Most of the cargos are transported by sea, which takes 45 to 60 days. Therefore, the transhipment through Azerbaijan is more acceptable and this route is the most optimal one.
The North-South Corridor will link northern Europe with south-eastern Asia. It will serve as a link between the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.
The railway's capacity will be 1.4 million passengers, and five to seven million tons of cargos per year, according to preliminary estimates.
At an initial stage, it is planned to transport six million tons of cargos via the North-South Corridor per year, expandable to 15-20 million tons of cargos per year in the future.
Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov