A solemn opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway was held on 30 October 2017. Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey, prime ministers of Kazakhstan, Georgia and Uzbekistan, as well as delegations of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan attended the event.
The BTK rail line will extend from the bank of the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan to the capital city of Georgia and then to the east of Turkey before feeding into the broader Turkish rail system and Europe beyond. This rail line is designed to become a key part of the southern route of the emerging New Silk Road network of trade and transport corridors that are coming together between China and Europe.
The agreement on the construction of the railway was signed in Tbilisi in 2007.
The line is intended to transport one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the initial stage. The capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo.
BTK railway will also contribute to stability and security of the region. The launch of this road will boost the tourism sector, transportation and other related industries.
The BTK railway is of great importance in terms of development of business and mutually fruitful cooperation between Europe and Asia.