A test train has been launched on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway on the territory of Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the Chinese-Turkish business forum in Beijing, TRT Haber TV channel reported July 30.
President Erdogan also stressed the importance of the BTK project in the field of cargo transportation. The new rail corridor is planned to be launched this year.
The line connects Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. For construction works in Georgia, State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) offered finance in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree ‘On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities’ dated February 2007.
The project involves the construction of 105 km of new rail line, and the Akhalkalaki-Marabda-Tbilisi section is under reconstruction in Georgia, a branch that will increase its capacity to 15 million tones of freight transport per year. Initially, the freight volume is estimated at 6.5 million tons, and will increase to 17 million tons/year.