Maximum profitable and competitive tariffs in comparison with air transport will be set for the users of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Deputy Transport Minister Musa Panahov said.
"To go to the destination by air travel is faster, but for people who want a comfortable environment for traveling by railway, competitive rates will be set within this route," he said.
The work on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is being carried out rapidly and the first working train will be sent to the border with Turkey in October, according to the deputy minister. The commissioning of the railway which will link the railway systems of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, is expected next year.
A direct rail link from London to Beijing will be created with the construction of "Marmaray" railway tunnel in Turkey and the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish inter-state agreement.
Azerbaijan has allocated a loan worth $775 million for construction of the railway's Georgian section. Azerbaijan's State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) carries out the funding of the project in accordance with the decree of Azerbaijani president 'On the implementation of the project activities of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars' dated February 21, 2007.
It is planned to construct a new 105-kilometer branch of the railroad as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the railway's Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section will be reconstructed in Georgia, which will increase its capacity to 15 million tonnes of cargo per year. It is planned to build a post in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing tracks in Georgia to the European ones.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million tonnes of cargo per year. This figure will be at the level of one million passengers and 6.5 million tonnes of cargo at the initial stage.