Turkey and Azerbaijan will establish a joint plant to manufacture cars for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line project, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan announced yesterday in Baku.
As part of his visit to Azerbaijan, Minister Turhan met Azerbaijan Railways Chairman Javid Gurbanov in Baku. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Turhan noted that they discussed the work needed to provide better service on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, as well as facilitation issues related to the operators.
Having invested heavily in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, Turhan said that they discussed the possibility of providing freight services not just for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey but all neighboring countries in the region.
"Previously, our technical teams investigated on-site. Now, we will establish a joint plant in Azerbaijan to manufacture freight cars that will be operated on this line," Turhan said.
Pointing out that work is about to be completed and that areas for the manufacturing plant had been determined, Turhan said they would start production immediately after establishing the plant.
Minister Turhan noted that currently the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line only provides freight services, while passenger service will start in coming years.
Turhan said that the line would provide significant transportation savings to users, which will also be reflected in consumer prices, and that preliminary studies for the Kars-Iğdır-Nakhchivan Railway Project are still in progress.
The 826-kilometer (513-mile) BTK railway, described as the Silk Railway, began operations in October 2017, linking Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In the railway's first year, 110,000 tons of goods were transported.