Baku, June 10, AZERTAC
The first freight train from India to Russia passing through the territory of Azerbaijan will be launched in late August 2016 as part of the North-South Project, Javid Gurbanov, head of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC said.
"The freight train will take off from India's Mumbai city, then it will be transported by ferry to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in late August," he added. "Then, by railway the train will arrive in Iran's Rasht city."
Gurbanov added that the goods will be transshipped to trucks in Rasht city and delivered to Azerbaijan's Astara city. Gurbanov also stressed that then the cargo will be delivered to Moscow by railway from Astara city.
This multimodal transportation will be carried out together with the railways of Azerbaijan and Russia, he emphasized.
The corridor is planned to transport 5 million tons of cargo a year in the first phase and over 10 million tons of cargo in the future.
Gurbanov also underlined that two cargo trains, which will become part of the international railway project 'Viking', will be sent to the Georgian port of Poti from China through the territory of Azerbaijan in late July - early August 2016.
In Poti, the cargo will be distributed according to its destination, said Chairman, adding that some part of the cargo will be sent to the Baltic countries within the route of international railway project 'Viking'.
The piggyback 'Viking' train project was launched in 2003. Members of the project include Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria. Later, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey joined the project. The total length of the Ilyichevsk (Ukraine)-Minsk (Belarus)-Draugyste (Lithuania) route is 1,766 kilometers.
In February 2016, Ukraine and Lithuania signed a memorandum on the accession of the container train 'Viking' to the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route from Europe to China through Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Azerbaijani government attaches great importance to increasing its transport potential as part of diversifying its economy.
All these projects contribute to the increasing role of Azerbaijan as a transit country between East and West, as well as North and South by providing alternatives to the existing transport routes.