Trans Euasian

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Georgia’s national rail operator have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to start developing a new Silk Road rail corridor between China and Europe.

This follows the agreement signed between DB and China Railways earlier this year.

The MOU covers cooperation on international freight transport and consultancy services for a range of projects related to transport in the coming five years.

The two companies will work on the new routes, which will be connected via Central Asia and Georgia, opening up options for customers who seek overland travel.

Deutsche Bahn’s economic, legal, and regulatory affairs management board member Ronald Pofalla said: "We are proud that DB has the chance to contribute to the renaissance and modernisation of these ancient communication routes between the continents.

"With a rail history reaching back to 1871, Georgia has a key role to play in this undertaking."

"The connections will open up options for customers seeking overland travel."

DB plans to make the most of the opportunities afforded by China’s Silk Road initiative, ‘One Belt – One Road’, which envisions a range of infrastructural undertakings covering 65 countries.

Deutsche Bahn’s international business development head Niko Warbanoff said: "We look forward to contributing to the Silk Road initiative and helping to promote international rail transport.

"Our work will also offer us access to a large and growing market in Asia."

Separately, DB and Georgian Railways will also look to grow rail freight traffic between Europe and Iran. At a later date, the project also plans to extend connections to India.

Image: Proposed route, New Silk Road connecting Central Asia via West Asia and Middle East with Europe. Photo: Courtesy of Deutsche Bahn AG.