Tunnel to be designed within large regional railway project
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 11/ Trend , E.Ismaylov /
The works on the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway are implemented in accordance with the plan both on the territory of Turkey and on the territory of Georgia, a source at the Ministry of Transport of Azerbaijan said.
"Construction work is carried out on the territory of Turkey, and on the territory of Georgia in accordance with the plan," said the same source.
The project envisages designing Akhalkalaki railway station, as well as designing of the direction of the tunnel on the border of Turkey with Georgia. A decision on a small change in the direction of the tunnel was made in May at the meeting of Ministers of Transport of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, which took place in Turkey.
The final document between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on the construction of BTK was signed in Tbilisi in February 2007. Azerbaijan allocated to the Georgia Railway Marabda-Kartsakhi a soft loan amounting to $200 million for a period of 25 years under one percent a year. A new road length of 29 kilometre will be constructed in Georgia through these funds, including a point of service and maintenance on the border with Turkey, as well as to renovate the old road. The project's total cost is more than $600 million.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project includes the construction of 105km-railway lines, with 76 kilometres section running via Turkey and 29 kilometres section via Georgia. Moreover, 183 kilometres section of Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railway will be also reconstructed to improve the carrying capacity to 15million tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build in Akhalkalaki a place for the transition of trains from the track existing in Georgia to the European one.
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