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» Baku-Tbilisi-Kars to transport over a million of passengers per year
05/08/2011 Yazdır

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars to transport over a million of passengers per year

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad will become a bridge connecting Turkey with Turkic states, said deputy of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey from the Party of Justice and Development Mehmet Arslan.

He was meeting the community in Kars.

“The Turkish government is closely watching construction of the BTK railroad and hopes that the works will finish on schedule”, the deputy said.

He noted that construction is expected to finish in 2012. There is a plan to transport over 1.5 million passengers by the BTK railroad a year and about 3m tonnes of cargo while by 2034  these figures will reach 3.5 million passengers and 16m tonnes of cargo.

The deputy also noted that the implementation of the project will change the whole Kars that will turn into an important transport and trade hub in Turkey.

The construction of the railroad started in 2008.

The project envisages laying a new 105-kilometer section of the railway with 76 to pass via Turkey and 29 km in Georgia.

Additionally, the 183-km section of Alkhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi railroad will be reconstructed to raise the capacity to 15m tonnes of cargo.

In Akhalkalaki, there is a plan to create a point for passage of trains from existing path in Georgia to European.

After the opening of the new highway (2012), the Georgian railways will be connected to Turkish. Azerbaijan will also get railway access to Turkey via existing Baku-Tbilisi line.

In line with the changes into the agreement between the governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia on financing, projection, construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the railway section Marabda-Turkish border (Kartsahi), the overall volume of credit reached $775m.

The construction and rehabilitation of the Georgian section of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad is carried out by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan.

Turkish side finances its part of the project.

Georgian minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Ramaz Nikioshvili highlighted his ideas on favorite projects in Georgia. According to Georgian minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, along with other projects, construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is very important. The minister noted that 812m lari allocated to the project from 2009.

“For the moment 23.9 thousand citizens are employed at the project. Last year investment for the project was increased up to 912m lari, 31 thousand people were provided with new jobs. Till the end of the year our ministry is expected to take 44.4 thousand citizens to new jobs and volume of the investment will be 1.386 bilion lari and total employed citizens will be 62.5 thousand”, said Nikioshvili.

According to the minister, 3 thousand km railway of 7 thousand was reconstructed in Georgia.

Under Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project, 25 km of railway will be constructed and 160 km will be repaired in Georgia.

Final document on Baku-Tbilsi-Kars project between Georgia and Azerbaijan was signed on February 8, 2007 in Tbilisi. Railway construction was launched on November 21, 2007. Azerbaijan granted 200m US dollars credit with concession to Georgian “Marabda-Karrsaxi Railways” ltd. The Means will be used for the construction of 29 km of railway and wheels changing facility near Turkish border as well as old lines will be reconstructed. General amount of the project is more than 600m dollars. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is constructed with financial support of Azerbaijan Oil Foundation.