Baku, Azerbaijan, May 10
By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:
The Baku-Sumgait railway will be commissioned on June 5, the head of the Azerbaijan Railways Ltd., Javid Gurbanov, told reporters May 10.
Gurbanov said the length of the railroad from Baku to the Sumgait station is 43 kilometers.
The overhaul of the Baku-Sumgait railway started March 3.
After the completion of repairs, it will be possible to reach the Sumgait station by electric train from Baku in about 40 minutes.
"Currently, the ring road, on which the electric trains run, and the Baku Railway Station are undergoing repairs," Gurbanov said.
He added that new platforms are under construction, turnstiles are being installed, and it is envisaged to put new cars into operation.
"Depending on the progress of the work, it is planned to buy new railway passenger cars from the Swiss company Stadler Rail AG, but it is not ruled out that if we don't meet the deadline, other cars will be purchased as well," he said.
Gurbanov noted that the new cars will have bathrooms, air conditioning and Wi-Fi.
He further said some 110,000 motor vehicles daily run between Baku and Sumgait, carrying a total of about 200,000 people.
"We will spare no effort to ensure that the railway service, to be opened between Baku and Sumgait, contributes to the elimination of traffic jams and to the provision of the citizens' convenience," he said.
Gurbanov reminded that today, it takes about two hours to get from Baku to Sumgait.
"With help of railway service, we will try to reduce this time to 40 minutes. At the initial stage it will enable us to transport 15,000 passengers," he said.
Gurbanov also said that a loan has been already allocated for these purposes.
He said it is planned to complete the reconstruction of a railway running towards the country's border with Georgia in one and a half years.
"We will also try to reduce the time of train journey from Baku to Ganja to five hours, and will work to upgrade the railway running to the Russian border," he said. "About 50 electric and 10 diesel locomotives will be purchased under an instruction of the head of state."
Under an agreement signed in summer last year by Azerbaijan's Transport Ministry and Stadler Rail AG, it is envisaged to buy 30 new passenger cars.
The purchase of new cars is carried out within the state program on development of railway transport in Azerbaijan.