221 - China Europe train - FELBRail Freight

Competition for transit loads on rail

Turkey wants to get use of its geographical location by getting more share from transit traffic between Europe and Asia also by rail. However Turkey is not the only country to spend effort for transit loads. Let’s see what each country is doing in region:


Iran has declared its interest in increasing transit loads. The new line opened is expected to connect Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to ports. Iran is also planning to open rail connections to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iraq. Iran is allowing CIS wagons all through its rail network via axle change. Iran is expecting to earn 285 million USD annually from rail fees of transit loads by the completion of the project. Iran also declared that country will be more active about transit loads and may review transit tariffs.


Kazakhstan has already getting an important share from transit traffic between China and Europe. The new completed lines have strengthen the connections to Russia and Caspian Sea. And there’s still an effort to increase the current capacity. The capacity Dostyk-Alashankou railway corridor, the main route for Chinese transit loads, will be increased from 23mn to/year to 50mn to. An alternative connection to China, Zhetygen-Korgas, with a starting capacity of 12mn to/year is under construction. The handling capacity of Dostyk, the station at China border, will be increased upto 25mn to by 2015. Kazakhstan may also play an important role with Aktau port after opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars connection.


Turkmenistan has now two connections between Kazakhstan and Iran. Through recently completed railway connection from Kazakhstan to Iran, Turkmenistan is expecting to have 10 millions to of transit loads. The new huge port under construction at Turkmenbashi will compete with Aktau after opening of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars connection.


Russia has proceeded a lot to improve railway connection between China and Europe. Many technical and organizational improvements have been done to provide 15 days service in total on that line. The connection is also used by Japan and South Korea. Russia is also encouraging Georgia-Armenia-Iran railway connection reaching to Persian Gulf. CIM/SMGS common waybill simplifies the documentation. 900 km daily speed is faster than any other country in region.


Bulgaria is re-constructing its lines to provide electrified and two-lane railway infrastructure in sections within European Rail Corridors. Liberalization also made it possible to give fast and secure service given by container operators’ own locomotives.

Cover Photo: FELB ©


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