Headline changed, details added (first version posted at 12:52)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 13
By Maksim Tsurkov – Trend:
An official ceremony for inaugurating the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway will be held Oct. 30 in Baku, Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC Javid Gurbanov told reporters in Baku.
“At the end of last month, we, together with Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan, Georgian Minister of Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia and head of Georgian Railway Mamuka Bakhtadze, made a test journey from Tbilisi to Akhalkalaki, and then continued it on a passenger train to Kars. I want to note that on Oct. 30, we will open this railway for freight trains,” he said.
He added that the travel time of freight trains will make less than 24 hours.
“Currently, contracts with the Georgian and Turkish Railways are being prepared for sending the first cargo. Conditions are being created to send around 400,000 tons of grain, wood and coal from Russia,” Gurbanov noted.
The BTK railway has been constructed on the basis of the Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. The peak capacity of the railway will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.