The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is expected to be
ready by early summer, Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet
“We want to start diesel locomotive by
completing its construction within two months followed by testing for two
months,” Arslan added.
The railway project is a regional rail project
linking Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is expected to increase the flow of
containers and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe.
He said poor weather conditions had hindered
the railway construction.
“The project is not only important for our
country but also for all countries that want to trade through Turkey,” he
Arslan said the railway line would cut down on
wastage of time and money.
“A cargo from China will be able to reach
Europe in 15 days when the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is completed. The distance
will be reduced by around threefold. There will be both time and cost savings.
Hence, an uneconomical transportation means will become economic when delivery
time reduces from 45 [days] to 15,” he said.
Recalling the visit to Pakistan with President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for an Economic Cooperation Organization meeting in
February, Arslan said the bloc’s member countries were eagerly awaiting the
completion of the railway line.
The 826-kilometer (513-mile) railway will be able to
transport a million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight in the first
stage. The capacity will later get enhanced to three million passengers and
over 15 million tons of freight