By Ayya Lmahamad
The volume of cargo transportation through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway has increased in the first quarter of 2021, Turkish media reported citing Turkey's Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoglu.
In the first quarter of the current year, the volume of cargo transportation via BTK reached 154,836 tons (or 2,468 wagons). It should be noted that the cargo transportation volume amounted to 78,000 tons during the corresponding period of 2020.
The minister noted that in 2020, cargo transportation along the BTK and the Middle Corridor increased by 104 percent to 396,778 tons compared to 2019.
On January 12, ADY Express LLC, a subsidiary of Azerbaijan Railway CJSC, started transporting export-oriented cargo via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway for the first time. In the meantime, on January 22, the company carried out cargo transportation in covered wagons via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway for the first time.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad started operating in two-way mode recently. Initially, this transport corridor was used to transport goods from China to Europe. On December 4, 2020, the first freight train left Istanbul for China via the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railroad.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is of exceptional importance for turning Azerbaijan into a regional transport corridor. The agreement on the construction of the railway, which was put into operation in 2017, was signed during the meeting in Tbilisi by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in 2007.
The 828- kilometer Baku Tbilisi Kars railway stretch from the Azeri coast of the Caspian Sea to the Georgian capital, and from there to Turkey, connecting the country’s extensive railway system and thus gaining access to European borders.
As of today, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars cargo turnover is 6 million tons, passenger turnover is 1 million people. In the future, it may be increased to 3 million passengers and 20 million tons of cargo.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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