New railway communication to connect Azerbaijan and Turkey
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 21 / Trend E. Ismayilov /
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will create for Azerbaijan favorable conditions for the direct way to Turkey, Georgia's first deputy speaker Mikheil Machavariani told journalists Wednesday in Baku.
"For Azerbaijan it's in fact direct route to Turkey which is an important partner for us as well as for Azerbaijan because we also have good relations with Turkey," Machavariani said.
According to Machavariani, the construction of the Baku - Tbilisi - Kars railway is a very large infrastructure project, which will make it possible to create new jobs both in Azerbaijan and Georgia.
As Transport Minister of Azerbaijan Ziya Mammadov said earlier two pilot trains will be launched by the project's participants by the end of 2012. The railway will be put into full operation in the first half of 2013.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being built in accordance with the Georgian-Azerbaijan-Turkish interstate agreement.
Azerbaijan assigned a loan of $775 million for construction of the railway's Georgian section. This project is financed by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan in compliance with the Order of the President of Azerbaijan "On Implementation of Measures on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Project" of February 21, 2007.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project envisions buildup of a new, 105-kilometer section, including 76 kilometers and 29 kilometers to pass the territory of Turkey and Georgia, respectively. Apart from that, the railway's Georgian section - Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi - will be reconstructed for the reasons of an increase of its annual throughput capacity up to 15 million tons of cargoes.
Akhalkalaki will also see a station for trains transition from railway tracks existent in Georgia to European tracks.
The railway's peak throughput capacity will make up 17 million tons of cargoes per year. At the initial stage, this indicator will be equivalent to 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargoes.