Despite the complexity of the relief on the territory of Georgia and Turkey, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be put into operation in 2014, Azerbaijan's Deputy Minister of Transportation Musa Panahov said on Sept.10.
According to Panahov, it is planned to send the first technical trains and locomotives within the framework of this route by late 2013.
"Construction work is being held in rather difficult conditions: both in Turkey and in the Georgia the mountain relief is very complex, which creates some problems," Panahov said. "But, despite this the work continued successfully."
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being built in accordance with an inter-governmental agreement reached by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The railway will increase the flow of containers and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe.
Azerbaijan has allocated a $775 million loan for the construction of the Georgian section of the railway. Funding for the project from the State Oil Fund is carried out in accordance with the 2007 presidential decree on taking measures within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project.
It is planned to construct a new 105 kilometer branch railway as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, reconstruction work will be carried out on the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway in Georgia, which will increase its capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year. It is envisioned to build a center in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing train tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
Around 30 million tons of cargo a year are to be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line, which will become a direct route to the European rail network.