There’ll be three new long-distance freight train trials during this summer bypassing Turkey.
The first train is planned to depart from China in late July, following the route Kazakhstan, Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan and Georgia, it’ll arrive to Poti. While some of the loads will be distributed from Poti Port, some other will be transshipped to Illychevsk for the final destination of Draugiste (Lithuania) Baltic countries by Viking Train.
The second train will depart in early August, following exactly the same route with the first one. Loads for both trains are expected to be provided by DHL. This route has been worked on by railway operators of China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukrain as an alternative route for China-Europe connection.
The third train will be in south-north direction, is expected to depart in late August. The train will be the first freight train from India to Russia. The route is Mumbai (India), Bander Abbas (Iran), Rasht (Iran), Astara (Azerbaijan) and Moscow (Russia). This route will be handled by sea+rail+truck combanation, but shows the intention of the participant countries for creating a north-south rail corridor via Caucasus and Iran. Iran and Azerbaijan agreed on completing the rail connection between two countries. 5-10 million tonnes of cargo is expected to be transported on this corridor annually.
Turkey is expecting to get share from east-west traffic after completing Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. Samsun-Kavkaz rail ferry connection was started for north-south traffic, but is currently not available for long-distance trains since Samsun-Kalin, the railway section connecting Samsun port to Turkish rail network is closed for two years due to engineering works.