Today is the first anniversary of Turkey’s new gate to Caucasus, Central Asia and China.
Some targets are achieved within this first year, and some remained for following years. Here’s the first year report of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway:
Target markets achieved
Though Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway connects Turkey to Azerbaijan and Georgia, Turkey also aims to reach to Central Asia and China through this line. Line succeeded in taking interest of Kazakhstan, most of the trains came from this country. Some trains were between Turkmenistan and Turkey. China train has not departed yet, but a committee from China is in Turkey nowadays, and expressed their intention to start trains to Turkey.
Trains hit speed records
It takes 7.5 days from Kazakhstan to Turkey by train. Average 630 km/day is behind China-Europe trains. However 4 times better than Turkey-Kazakhstan ECO train via Iran. TCDD Tasimacilik achieved a great result by completing 1300 km from Kars to Mersin in 1.5 days.
Container terminal at Akhalkalaki
All terminals at break-of-gauge points have critical role in success of that route. Container transhipment in Akhalkalaki started since the first day.
116 trains in one year
In the first year of the line, 110 000 tons of freight is carried with 116 trains. Considering the annual international rail freight of Turkey, 1.8 million tons, it’s quite a good start. However it’s far from the capacity of the line, 7 million tons.
Bogi exchange not started
Especially an important petrolium product traffic is expected between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Thus, line was designed not only for container trains, but also conventional trains with tank and grain wagons. The exchange cranes are ready, one test train has run. But there’s not active usage yet.
Baku-Ankara train in dark
Not only the citizens of Turkey and Azerbaijan, but also travelers are looking forward to Baku-Ankara train. Luxary sleepers were displayed at Innotrans 2 years ago and were announced to start by the end of this year. However they are not delivered to Azerbaijan yet. It seems that we’ll wait some more.
Cover photo: ADY Express ©
Categories: Rail Freight