Turkish transport minister: Turkish plot of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is under construction

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 8 / Trend A. Akhundov /

Constructing of a 76-kilometer Turkish section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is successfully continued in accordance with international standards, Turkish Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said in an interview with Trend.

"Construction work is underway. It is planned to complete them in 2012," Yildirim said.

He said that it is planned to construct two half kilometer tunnels, three viaducts, 12 over-ground crossings and a railroad station on the Turkish-Georgian border within the project.

"The speed of traffic on the site is projected at 120 kilometers per hour," the minister said

He said that a 28-kilometer-plot, located on the territory of Georgia, is also under construction.

He said that after its commissioning in 2012, it is planned to transport 1.2 million people and 3.5 million tons of cargo via Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. The volume of passenger transportation will be increased up to 7.8 million people, cargo transportation - up to 21.5 million tons in 2034.

"Taking into account "Marmaray" project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project becomes more important. An underwater railway tunnel under the Bosphorus is being built within "Marmaray" project to connect the European and Asian parts of Turkey, " he said.

He said that since the day of making a decision to implement this project, all the countries of Great Silk Way situated in the area from China to Western Europe are closely observing its development. He said that Kazakhstan expressed its intention at the stage of the project realization to transport 10 million tons of cargo via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway per year.

"By implementing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, Marmaray and a number of high-speed railway projects, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia will become a part of not only the most profitable from an economic standpoint, but also the safest and reliable variant of the Asian-European transport corridor," he said.

He said that implementing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project will lead to a significant increase in transport capacity between Turkey and Azerbaijan, the growth of trade turnover between the two countries, strengthening of fraternal and friendly relations.

"This project is carried out within the mutual trust and mutual cooperation of the participants. Turkey operates realizing all the responsibility made on it. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which is the third large joint project of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and the Baku- Tbilisi-Erzurum projects, will strengthen the historical friendship of the three countries, peace and prosperity in the region and renew trade between countries in the region," he said.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which will connect the rail systems of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, is planned to be completed in the first half of 2012, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov said earlier.

A new 105-kilometer railroad branch will be constructed as a part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway. About 76 kilometers will stretch via Turkey, 29 kilometers through Georgia. Moreover, an Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway section will be reconstructed in Georgia to increase transport capacity up to 15 million tons of cargo a year. A point of train transition from the existing train tracks in Georgia to the European one is planned to be built in Akhalkalaki.

The peak capacity of the corridor will hit 17 million tons. Initially, the figure will hit 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.

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