Railway link to Turkey and Europe
Kazakhstan not only expands its export opportunities but also attracts tourists, thanks to development of transit and transport potential. Traveling is becoming easier than before. Railways now allow transport from Kazakhstan to Turkey and further to Europe. Owing to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars line, Kazakhs will be able to travel to the Turkish city by high-speed trains by the end of the year. Nearly one million passengers will be transported on the new steel routes per year.
VUGAR SHIKHMAMEDOV, PRESS SECRETARY, AZERBAIJANI MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM:
- Transport is one of the important factors of tourism. The fact that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars passes through the territory of the Great Silk Road opens great opportunities for tourism. Special tourist trains will be launched and separate projects for travelers will be implemented. It is a good opportunity for tourists from Kazakhstan and other Asian countries to go to Turkey and to other countries.
The railway was opened in October last year. The technical conditions are settled. The new route will begin to transport tourists.
DZHAVID GURBANOV, CHAIRMAN, AZERBAIJANI RAILWAYS:
- First of all you need to meet the technical requirements. The requirements are in sizes of rails: the size of rails on the Azerbaijani territory is estimated at 1520 millimeters, and in the Turkish territory the size of rails is 1435 millimeters. In order to move from one rail to another, either the replacement of wheels is required or the process is performed automatically. We have already ordered wagons that meet such requirements. By the end of the year transportation of passengers till Kars will begin.
According to experts, passenger transportation along the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route will significantly increase the tourist flow from east to west and vice versa. According to the authors of the project, it is most likely that such tours will not be limited to two or three days. The passengers will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the sights of the countries along the Silk Road route.