The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that will connect Kars in Turkey, Tbilisi in Georgia and Baku in Azerbaijan is expected to be commissioned in 2013.
According to the plan, by the end of 2012 a work train will be launched on the line with construction starting next year.
Azerbaijani Deputy Transport Minister Musa Panahov was quoted by en.trend.az saying that that the work under this project continues at a heightened pace to ensure that the railway system is ready by the end of the year.
"At present, the Turkish side is taking all measures to complete the work before the end of the year," Panahov said.
The project involves rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Marabda-Akhalkalaki railway section (except for the station), as well as construction work from Akhalkalaki to the Turkish border (Kartsakhi).
It also involves reconstruction of the Marabda-Akhalkalaki section, which will be carried out in three phases - the 29km Marabda-Tetritskaro section, the 49.7km Tetritskaro-Tsalka section and the 74.1km Tsalka-Akhalkalaki section.
As part of the project, 105km of railway line will be constructed, including segments in Turkey and Georgia.
Work on the project started in 2007 under an interstate agreement among Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Azerbaijan has spent about $850m in the project, including the construction of the Georgian section, for which the country had extended a loan of $775m to Georgia in 2007.
In addition, Georgia will be responsible for reconstruction of the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway section, which will increase the cargo carrying capacity to 15 million tonnes every year.
After completion, the railway line will be able to carry 17 million tonnes of cargo every year.
Image: As part of the project 105km of new railway line will be constructed, including railway line segments in Turkey and Georgia. Photo: courtesy of Railway Technology.