01-11-2017 12:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
A new transport corridor between Asia and Europe
The shortest Asia Europe rail link was launched in Azerbaijan on Monday which will act as a new transport corridor for goods carried between Asia and Europe.
At a ceremony to mark the departure of first trains, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said that that the opening of the railway is of historic and strategic significance. He said that the line from Azerbaijan capital, Baku through the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, to Kars in Turkey is “the shortest and most reliable link between Europe and Asia.
The 846-kilometer (525 miles) marks the completion of a 10-year project. There are plans to start passenger train services along the route next year, including sleeper-car trains between Baku and Istanbul.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the new rail will enable Chinese goods to reach Europe in just 12 to 15 days. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev and Uzbek Premier Abdullah Aripov are other dignitaries that attended the flag off ceremony.
Akif Mustafayev, permanent representative in Azerbaijan of the intergovernmental commission of TRACECA, an EU-backed transport program said that the line offers a shorter route for transporting Chinese goods to Europe by rail.
The railway is expected to transport 5 million tons of cargo per year initially, rising to 17 million tons over time.