Azerbaijan to commission Horadiz-Aghband railway in 2023
By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan Railways Chairman Javid Gurbanov has said that the country plans to commission the Horadiz-Agband railway in 2023, local news sources reported.
He made the remarks in an interview with journalists in Baku on December 12.
"Some 40 kilometers of land have been prepared. We will soon start to lay the top layer of the railway. The work on tunnels and bridges is underway. The railway is 11 kilometers long. The demining operations are also underway. The work will probably be completed on a 50 kilometer-section by late 2021,” he said.
Gurbanov added that the work is planned to be completed by late 2022.
He stressed that the Horadiz-Agband railway can be connected with the Nakhchivan railway after the Azerbaijani-Armenian talks yield results and an agreement is reached to open the communications.
Gurbanov noted that "Armenia's railways will be under Russian control until 2038. I think this period will be extended in the future."
Moreover, he said that Azerbaijan plans to build a railway to its Aghdam region and then in the direction of Khankandi.
The chairman added that the design work is also underway in the direction of Shusha city.
“It is unknown when the construction work will begin. As soon as the decision is made, the work will begin,” he said.
Founded on February 14, 2021, the 110.4-km-long single-track Horadiz-Aghband railway will consist of eight stations (Horadiz, Marjanli, Mahmudlu, Soltanli, Gumlag, Minjivan, Bartaz, Aghband) and over 300 engineering facilities will be constructed within the project.
Currently, the construction of a roadbed, as well as other facilities is being carried out in a 40-km area cleared of landmines. In a 21-km section of the road soil has already been prepared, rock and gravel materials have been paved, as well as rails have been laid on a 3-km section of the road.
As a grand strategic project, the railway will make a significant contribution to the economic potential of the liberated territories.
Moreover, as an integral part of the Zangazur corridor, the project will establish direct transport links between Nakhchivan exclave and Turkey that ultimately will boost Azerbaijan’s economic importance.
The railway will be of great importance both for the movement of citizens and the transportation of goods to the liberated lands. Most importantly, after many years the Turkic world will be reunited through the Zangazur corridor.
The opening of the Zangazur corridor will have a positive impact on the regional economy, as well as on the development of the Turkic-speaking countries, and will increase the importance of the East-West and North-South transport corridors.
The Horadiz-Aghband railway was destroyed and suspended in 1993 after the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenian armed forces. The Horadiz station of Fuzuli region has been the last stop of the railway for 27 years.
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