Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway To Start Operating With Expanded Capacity This Month

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 6. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars(BTK) railway route, a vital component of the Middle Corridor, willincrease its transportation capacity to five million tons per yearafter modernization on May 20, 2024, a fivefold increase from itsprevious capacity, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC (ADY) said on socialnetworks, Trend reports.

ADY Chairman Rovshan Rustamov announced the completion of repairand expansion efforts along the 184-kilometer stretch of the BTKrailway line in Georgia. Following these enhancements, BTK's annualthroughput capacity surged from one million tons to five milliontons.

He highlighted that in late 2022, following a thoroughassessment of the BTK's performance after five years of operation,during which it was limited to transporting no more than onemillion tons of cargo annually, a decision was made tosignificantly expand the railway route. This decision accounted forthe continuous rise in cargo transportation along the MiddleCorridor.

“The Georgian segment was acknowledged as a challenging area forexpansion. Despite the difficult terrain, with work in certainlocations conducted at altitudes of up to 2,400 meters above sealevel, an intensive work schedule was implemented,” Rustamovsaid.

In addition to laying down the railway line, the projectencompassed installing a 10 kW electric line spanning 172kilometers, laying a 338-kilometer fiber-optic cable, andundertaking essential maintenance on the roads adjacent to theroute.

“Starting May 20, freight transportation will commence on theupgraded BTK railway line. The primary aim of modernizing thisrailway was to enhance the Middle Corridor's competitiveness andelevate the railway route's status as a key freight thoroughfarewithin this corridor. I believe this development will positionAzerbaijan as a pivotal transportation hub along the East-Westroute,” he emphasized.

In his opinion, the importance of BTK in accelerating thedelivery of cargo from China and Central Asian countries to Europethrough the territory of Azerbaijan is significant.

“ADY is poised to handle the majority of cargo traffic betweenAsia and the West, utilizing the upgraded BTK railway line in bothdirections. We are prepared to engage in international competitionwithin the realm of cargo transportation,” the ADY chair said.

Azerbaijan has invested over $100 million in theBaku-Tbilisi-Kars expansion project, providing a loan forGeorgia.

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