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Baku-Tbilisi-Kars construction to restart

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 11
The Azerbaijan state railway office has stated that from March 15 work on the Georgian segment of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be resumed. This construction was suspended in January this year due to heavy snow and other bad weather conditions. The Ukrainian institute Kievgiprotrans has prepared a project for the rehabilitation of the existing Marabda-Tetri Tskaro line, which then extends to Akhalkalaki in Georgia and Turkey.

Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey signed an agreement to construct the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway on February 8, 2007. The project will cost more than USD 600 million. Azerbaijan allotted to the Georgian side a soft loan of USD 200 million for 25 years at 1% annual interest. This was to be used to build a new 29-kilometre track and associated technical and servicing infrastructure and rehabilitate the existing Georgian line from Marabda to Akhalkalaki.

Azeri company Azerinshaatservice is undertaking the construction work. The railway is expected to open in 2011.