When will BTK railway start operation in full capacity?

When will BTK railway start operation in full capacity?
When will BTK railway start operation in full capacity?

The Maranda-Kartsakhi railway is a state company operating at the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars highway.

Its creation and installation of the railway infrastructure cost 775 mln USD, and it represents the largest infrastructural project in the history of independent Georgia.

Georgia borrowed the money from Azerbaijan and should cover it in 25 years.

Georgia received the loan in two parts. The first part equaled 200 mln USD, while the other part totaled 575 ln USD.

Georgia should start paying the debt when the project is over, and the railway begins operation.

After the project starts commissioning, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will transfer five mln tonnes of freight, while the capacity of the railway will gradually reach 15 mln tonnes.

Experts say such projects are beneficial for our country, but the date of the railway launch in full capacity remains unknown yet.

The Georgian administration of BTK says that the cargo transfers are implemented in a test mode currently, and the date of the full launch of the railway operation is unknown.

Snow-protective fences are being installed in the Georgian section of the highway, and the communication systems are being tested.

As Georgia's Railway reports, the tariffs in the Azerbaijani and Turkish sections have been counted and established. The construction work is over in Turkey and is underway in Georgia, but the completion date is unknown.

The Kars Logistic Center has already hosted the first train and will launch commercial operation in the end of 2020.

Following the Georgian government's 2019-2020 program, the measures to activate the BTK railway have been intensely underway. The 2021-2024 plan includes the purchase of private land plots and compensates for the owners at the Marabda-Akhalkalaki-Kartsakhi section.

The construction work was to be over in 2012, but it delayed several times. Today, the railroad's full operation depends on the readiness of Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan.

As a reminder, transferring cargo via the highway gradually decreases, and the cargo owners show a higher interest in it.

Earlier in June, the BTK highway started the transportation of new goods.

Through the pandemic, Turkey managed to maintain freight turnover with its trade partners via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, as it turned into one of the main external trade roads for Turkey.

The railway officially opened in October 2018, and the first import was made from Turkey to Georgia (using the railroad) in June 2019.

The railroad connects the Asian and European railroad networks. It is the shortest way between Asia and Europe and enables the cargo transfer time to halve.

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