Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to be launched in time: minister

Business Materials 18 December 2009 17:31 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, December 18/ Trend , E.Ismaylov, N.Ismaylova /

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be put into operation in accordance with the planned schedule - in 2011, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov said on Dec. 18.

"I suppose that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be put into operation in time, of course, if any force majeure condition does not appear, particularly if the weather conditions does not prevent," Mammadov said.

According to the minister, currently work within the project is carried out intensively both in Georgia and in Turkey.

The total project cost is estimated at about $400 million. Azerbaijan has allocated a loan of $200 million to Georgia for the construction of the project.

A new 105-kilometer-branch of railway is planned to be constructed within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project; 76 kilometers will stretch through Turkey and 29 kilometers through Georgia. Moreover, a 183-kilometer section of railways - Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi - will be reconstructed in Georgia to increase capacity to up to 15 million tons of freight per year. A train transition station, changing trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to European tracks is planned to be constructed in Akhalkalaki.

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