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First BTK freight train reaches Kars

Tuesday, November 7
The first freight train running along the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway reached Kars Nov.3.

ADY Express , subsidiary of Azerbaijan Railways, told Trend Nov.3 that the first operation on cargo transshipment on the BTK rail line took place at Akhalkalaki station.

"From Kars the train has already left in the direction of Mersin (in the south of Turkey), this road will take about 40 hours," the company said.

The train, consisting of 32 containers loaded with grain, traveled from Baku to Kars in 40 hours. The train departed from Kazakhstan Oct. 24. Its final destination will be the Turkish Mersin.

The opening of the BTK railway took place in Baku Oct.30.

The first train departed from the Azerbaijani port of Alat after its inauguration by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. In order not to miss such an historic event, the leaders and high-ranking officials of a number of countries, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, that will somehow be involved in the transportation along this corridor, attended the solemn ceremony.

The BTK railway was constructed on the basis a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. The railway’s peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At an initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.