The line, which was opened with the cooperation of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan on October 30, 2017 with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, is the country’s trade route that opens outward by rail.
Thanks to the 829-kilometer railway line starting from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, passing through the cities of Tbilisi and Ahılkelek in Georgia and extending to Kars, freight transportation between Europe and China can be provided uninterruptedly.
The railway line, which has reduced the delivery time of products in Asia to Europe to 15 days, has transported 2 million 405 thousand tons of cargo since the day it started to be used.
“A rail load from London can go as far as Beijing”
The Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications at the time the line was opened, AK Party Kars Deputy Ahmet Arslan said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project was called the “project of the century” when it was built.
Pointing to Turkey’s railway network, Arslan said:
“With the construction of the Marmaray Project, the cargoes departing from London crossed the continents under the sea in Turkey, came as far as Kars, but could not go to Far Asia. With the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line, an iron train departing from London “The road load has become able to go as far as Beijing. The railway has become uninterrupted in terms of intercontinental. This has further strengthened our country’s function in railways, making our country a center in this sense.”
Stating that the line played an important role in freight transportation during the Kovid-19 epidemic, Arslan said that uninterrupted transportation was carried out by rail during the periods when there were problems with the border crossings of land vehicles.
“It has gained an advantage by taking the load in a very short time”
“All the cargoes that will go from Russia, Asia to Europe and which may go to the far west via our ports, the Mediterranean, have an advantage suitable for the intercontinental freight movement by Baku-Tbilisi-Kars. When he uses the north, he can go to Europe in 32 days, and when he uses the sea to go from the African side, it takes 45-62 days.When he goes to Europe via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway, it takes 12-15 days, especially for the cargo to reach the target market. “This shortening of the time is a very important advantage for cargo owners as well as for importing and exporting countries. Therefore, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars has gained an advantage by shortening travel times and delivering the cargo to its target market in a very short time.”
“Kars will become a railway base”
Arslan said that the project of the second link, Kars-Iğdır-Dilucu-Nahçıvan Railway Line, has also been completed, “Our country’s goal is to build that place as well. When that place is built, Kars will become a railway base as well as the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway, Kars -The line going from Iğdır-Dilucu-Nahçıvan and Kars to Europe using Marmaray will connect the continents.It will fulfill a function in terms of railway transportation.Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway has been in service since 30 October 2017. “It has carried a total of 2 million 405 thousand tons of cargo to date. This export and import load is a very important figure. Only in 2022, 691 thousand tons of cargo was transported, so Baku-Tbilisi-Kars now hosts cargo transportation of millions.” said.