BTK railway’s opening ceremony to be held in late June
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Orkhan Quluzade – Trend:
The opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTK) will be held in late June, Turkish media cited the country’s Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Ahmet Arslan as saying.
Arslan added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the ceremony.
The minister stressed that diesel locomotives will transport cargo via BTK.
He added that the BTK corridor will help establish continuous railway communication between Europe and China.
"While using alternative routes, for example via the territory of Russia or Iran, as well as cargo transshipment by sea, 45-60 days are required for cargo transportation from China to Europe,” he said. “Cargo will be transported from China to Europe in 12-15 days via BTK."
He added that BTK will also make an important contribution to the development of Turkish trade.
"At present, 26.5 million tons per year account for the cargo transported via the Turkish railways,” the minister said. “At the same time, an additional annual volume of 10 million tons of goods transported via BTK will account only for Kazakhstan. In general, after the BTK is commissioned, the volumes of cargo transported via the Turkish railways will double."
The BTK railway is being constructed on the basis of the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey intergovernmental agreement. Peak capacity of the railway will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, it will serve one million passengers and transport 6.5 million tons of cargo.