Baku-Tbilisi-Kars – a Perspective Transport Bridge for the TRACECA corridor


The International Conference “Railway Line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars – New Opportunities for the Development of the Historic Silk Road” was held on 16 October 2014, in Baku, Azerbaijan. The conference was attended by the ministers of the region’s countries, Europe and Asia, leading representatives of international organizations and financial institutions.

Being the most advantageous transit option and the short haul between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, the railway line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will create an alternative at the intersection of both between West and East and between a number of northern and southern countries. The significance of the Azerbaijan and Georgian Railways will grow. 

The line will directly connect the South Caucasus with Turkey. This in its turn will provide a physical access to the railway network of the European Union countries and of a number of Mediterranean countries. This route will provide the transport of goods from Central Asia, primarily of oil and oil products to the ports of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey and subsequently to the world markets. 

A new route will ensure smooth goods turnover not only between the region countries, but between the countries located on the opposite shore of the Caspian Sea. Particularly one of the main goals in terms of freight transportation along the railway Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is the creation of powerful port infrastructure. Conceptual design and complex construction of ports on the Caspian will become an important link to form modern transport infrastructure which will lead to a new level of economic and trade cooperation between the countries of Asia and Europe. 

During the speech at the Conference Mr. Biriucov, Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, noted that the efforts of the TRACECA countries would result in creation of the necessary conditions for the smooth transport of goods, passing in the international traffic regime, provision of mutual support within the framework of national legislations on harmonization of customs procedures and transit.                                                                                        

One of the most perspective and complex directions to be involved by the railway line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars will be the “Silk Wind” Project for organization of the block train to include new transport infrastructure of the member countries. This project will provide a full complex of logistic services in the route countries and ensure the continuity of traffic from China to Kazakhstan and further to Europe.

Mr. Biriucov informed the participants of the Conference that there was the perspective for subsequent extension of the trade routes network and development of container traffic in the Caspian and the Black Sea regions using related modes of transport. For this purpose there is developed the Technical Annex to the Basic Multilateral Agreement on Fundamental Principles of Railway-Ferry Terminals Operation on the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The realization of these technical standards and principles will enable the countries to use the transport infrastructure, ports and railway connections.

The development of a number of technical recommendations, a set of single technical rules and norms is also included in the strategic document – the TRACECA Master Plan for 7 year period.  In perspective this document envisages the creation of the uninterrupted logistic chain for efficient multimodal transport along the corridor. 

The participants of the Conference noted that the railway line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, creation of new stable routes would make it possible to bring together the attitudes towards the development, harmonization and increase of effective use of transit-transport potential which will finally ensure further integration of transport systems and strengthening the communication between Europe and Asia.

Within the framework of the Conference the participants were shown a comprehensive short film devoted to the railway line Baku-Tbilisi-Kars. On the outcomes of the Conference there was adopted a Joint Declaration.

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA